Coronavirus (COVID-19) support in low income households: evaluation

Qualitative research evaluating a range of policies and support that were delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research looks at how this support impacted on the finances and wellbeing of low income households.


1. Further detail is available at: Coronavirus (COVID-19) – SPICe Spotlight | Solas air SPICe (

2. Further information on UK average incomes can be found at: Average household income, UK - Office for National Statistics (

3. Further information on income inequality and poverty in Scotland can be found at: Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland 2017-20 (

4. The direct quotes presented are taken only from interviews that were recorded.

5. The upper income threshold for severe poverty measure, e.g. 50% of After Housing Cost (AHC) median income, equates to 82% of the AHC relative poverty income threshold. The incomes for single persons and families solely reliant on Universal Credit are lower still, typically ranging from less than 50% to around 67% of AHC relative poverty, with families at the upper end of this range.

6. This is based on the whole household.

7. Local authority area is based on a fourfold classification of Scottish local authority areas, which classifies local authorities according to their level of rurality. Further information is available at: Understanding the Scottish rural economy: research paper - (

8. This includes any household with a baby who was under one in March 2020 or has been born since that date.

9. This includes any mother who was aged under 25 from March 2020.

10. Other research with findings on this issue can be found at: COVID-19 Shielding Programme (Scotland) rapid evaluation - Publications - Public Health Scotland and Coronavirus (COVID-19): supporting people at higher risk - survey of third sector organisations - (

11. Eligibility of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme required the recipient to have traded in both the 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021 tax years.

12. For further information on use of the National Assistance Helpline see: Coronavirus (COVID-19) support study experiences of and compliance with self-isolation: main report - (

13. Phase 1 of the Connecting Scotland Programme ran from April-July 2020 and was focused on those who were shielding or in the high risk of severe illness group. Few of the participants for this study would have been eligible for support during Phase 1.



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