March 2021 | Standpoints | Standard Life Foundation Newsletter

31 March 2021

Spring is in the air ... well until the snow arrives

Spring has sprung and we’re feeling full of the joys at Standard Life Foundation. This might have something to do with the good weather coinciding with the start of the restrictions easing, but things are looking brighter. The latest unemployment figures indicate that the furlough scheme is working as intended*, the vaccine rollout is on track* and we’ve had some great applications in for the latest funding round.

It’s just over two months until the next application deadline. If you have an idea for a research, policy or campaign project which will help people on low-to-middle incomes, do get in touch.

You might notice the newsletter has a slightly new look, if you like it please do share it, new readers can subscribe here.

* we know, we know, there are huge caveats to all of this joy, but after the year we have all had we're looking on the bright side.

Project in focus: Women’s Budget Group

 One of the projects the Foundation funded as part of our Covid-19 funding round was the Women’s Budget Group (working jointly with the Fawcett Society, Engender, Women’s Equality Network Wales and the Northern Ireland Women’s Budget Group). They have been monitoring the gendered impact of the pandemic.

The project has resulted in some interesting findings

March 2021

Only 38% of women in the UK believe the Government’s Covid 19 response has focused on issues that matter most to them.


February 2021

3 in 10 low-income families have lost hours at work because of the pandemic


January 2021
Mothers on the lowest incomes are eight times more at risk of losing their job due to school closures in the UK (compared to those on higher incomes)

Stat of the month

The Chancellor had the opportunity to put things right for the millions who have been excluded from the furlough and SEISS schemes when he set his Budget earlier this month. Unfortunately, despite a small concession for the newly self-employed, many remain excluded from the income replacement schemes.

What we like this month

The Financial hardship in rural areas programme reported their findings this month, holding events in Scotland and England. The team found the UK welfare system is poorly adapted to meet the needs of those living in rural areas 


The research, which was carried out by Newcastle University, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the Impact Hub Inverness, found that the benefits system is unable to deal fairly with the volatility and irregularity of rural incomes, increasing the vulnerability of those living in rural areas to poverty.

Read more


SLF in the news

Families with children hit hardest financially by Covid-19
Read more


IPPR Scotland: Introduce a minimum income guarantee to eradicate poverty and insecurity in Scotland
Read more

Our CEO, Mubin Haq, signed a letter coordinated by Excluded UK
Read more


Views this month


One year on from the first UK lockdown, our CEO Mubin Haq reflects on how society has changed in the past year, and whether government responses to save the economy have gone far enough.


Read the article on our website. (This article appeared in The Scotsman on Sunday on 28 March)

Funding application deadline

 We fund research, policy work and campaigns to improve living standards for people on low-to-middle incomes.

The next funding deadline is 3rd June 2021. Found out more about what we fund and read our guidelines.