Zamzam Ibrahim, NUS national president said: ‘These figures show the real financial pain that is being felt by our communities and particularly our young people as a result of COVID-19.
‘Students are overwhelmingly concentrated in this age-range and government financial support for students have been minimal – more must be put in place.
She added that: ‘We also know that young people, students, and, apprentices are often financially burdened due to costs associated with education.
‘They are also disproportionately renters and we need immediate government action to ensure student tenants are not taking out commercial debt to pay rent for properties in which they cannot or should not be living in as a result of the crisis.
‘Furthermore, it is clear that rent obligations must be waived for those who are financially struggling and not just kicked into the long grass as unpayable rent arrears.
Ibrahim concluded that: ‘NUS is calling for the government to enact a rent and utility holiday for at least three months.
‘A suspension of rent rises and evictions for all tenants including those in student accommodation, state guaranteed living income for all workers who cannot attend work.
‘Including precarious and gig-economy workers, and for those made redundant as a result of the pandemic, the SSP threshold to be lowered and the rate of SSP increased as businesses are affected.’
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