Nearly half of Liverpool workers lose pay during lockdown

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Nearly half of Liverpool's households have lost income since the outbreak of coronavirus, the results of a new survey suggest.

The ECHO, along with our sister titles across the country, carried out the Great Big Lockdown Survey, powered by doopoll, to gauge the views of our readers – and the impact lockdown is having on our lives.

As we approach 100 days since the first evacuees from Wuhan arrived at Arrowe Park, it is hard to believe how much has changed since then.

More than 17,500 of our readers took part in the survey, and the figures for Merseyside reveal a major drop in income is hitting households across the region.

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Of those who responded, 45% said their household income had dropped.

Of those, 40% had lost out due to being placed on furlough, 11% because of having to shut their own business, 10% due to an enforced pay cut, 4% because of redundancy, 4% because of having coronavirus or its symptoms, 2% because of loss of pay due to childcare, and 29% for another reason.

Startlingly, 24% said their income had reduced by more than 50%.

Nevertheless, despite the fact many families are hurting financially, 47% of people said they were willing to accept a tax rise to help the country recover once the outbreak is over.

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But the survey wasn't just about money – we asked about all aspects of daily life under lockdown and this is what you told us.

Mental health

Proponents of ending or easing the lockdown sometimes point to the mental health impact of people being kept inside and unable to socialise with friends or family.

Even those who support the lockdown measures are aware this is an unwanted side effect of what they see as a necessary public health intervention.

And the survey paints a worrying picture of how mental health has been affected by the crisis, with 36% of people saying they had experienced more anxiety, 22% more depression and 20% more loneliness. Just 22% of respondents said they had felt none of these.

Helplines and support groups

The NHS Choices website lists the following helplines and support networks for people to talk to.

  • Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you're feeling, or if you're worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org.
  • Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won't show up on your phone bill.
  • PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is an organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
  • Mind (0300 123 3393) is a charity based in England providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
  • Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
  • Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.
  • Young Persons Advisory Service – Providing mental health and emotional wellbeing services for Liverpool’s children, young people and families. tel: 0151 707 1025 email: support@ypas.org.uk

Childcare

In total, 31% of our respondents said they had children. Of these, 46% said they found juggling childcare and other responsibilities either "very" or "somewhat" difficult.

For 29% of parents the situation is the same as normal, will 9% said they found it somewhat easy and 16% said very easy.

Socialising

Yesterday's news that a second pub had been slammed for serving drinkers during lockdown in Merseyside showed some people were happy to break the rules if it meant getting a pint at their local.

We launched the Great Big Lockdown survey to give us a unique picture of the extraordinary times we are living through.

An array of questions were posed about hopes and fears during the pandemic, how it has been handled and how things might change on the other side. The survey was powered by doopoll, a specialist in providing simple but powerful engagement solutions.

More than 400,000 people responded, a massive number which has allowed us to get a true sense of how our communities feel.

The survey ran for five days across 42 titles on the Reach plc network. Using doopoll allowed us to do this at scale, ensuring we gathered the opinions of as many people as possible and were able to review them on a national and regional level too.

Thanks to everyone who filled it in. We are living through history, and you have helped us record it.

To find out more about doopoll visit www.doopoll.co.

But hardly any of our respondents said they'd be hitting the bar any time soon. Asked to rate how likely they would be to go to a pub open illegally, with 10 being most likely and 1 being least likely, the average respondent gave a score of 1.2.

The government

79% of people who responded said they thought the social distancing measures, introduced to stem the spread of the virus, had been brought in too late.

Just 15% said they were introduced at the right time, 3% didn't know, a further 3% said they shouldn't be in place at all and 0% felt they were introduced too early.

And there isn't much comfort for the government from the rest of the responses, with Boris Johnson and health secretary Matt Hancock rated at just 4.7 and 4.6 respectively for their performance on a scale of one to ten.

The most popular individual in the government was chancellor Rishi Sunak, who scored 5.8. Meanwhile chief medical officer Chris Whitty scored 6.3 and was seen as the strongest-performing individual of those we asked about.

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