The lifting of the first Covid-19 lockdown earlier this year did little to improve the incomes of people in the UK who lost out from the restrictions, and lower-earning households have borne the brunt of the hit, a think tank has said.

With unemployment on the rise in Britain, the proportion of adults reporting a drop in incomes improved only slightly to 23 per cent between July and September. That was down from 27% in the April-June period, according to a report by the Resolution Foundation.

Three-in-ten of the adults who took a sustained hit in income were unable to afford some basic household costs such as heating and fresh fruit and vegetables.

“The government should strengthen the social safety net that more families are coming to rely upon,” said Karl Handscomb, an economist at the Resolution Foundation.

Adults in highest 20% income band, or an average of £64,000 a year, were more likely to have seen their family budgets improve than deteriorate from before the pandemic as many managed to save more.

By contrast, low-income households on £13,000 a year were more than twice as likely to have seen their budgets deteriorate. The report was based on a survey of 6,061 adults questioned between September 17-22.

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Vodafone confident after resilient first half

The world's second-largest mobile operator has said it is increasingly confident about its full-year performance after a "resilient" first half, despite underlying momentum being obscured by the impact of the pandemic.

Vodafone nudged up the target range for adjusted core earnings to between £12.9 billion and £13.1bn for its 2021 financial year, compared to £13bn a year earlier.

For the six months to the end of September, its adjusted earnings fell by 1.9% to £6.3bn on a 2.3% drop in group revenue to £19.2bn, as the pandemic impacted roaming revenue and handset sales.

Chief Executive Nick Read said the results underlined “increased confidence” in the outlook and demonstrated progress in increasing customer loyalty, growing its fixed broadband base and delivering 5G efficiently through network sharing.

The slight upgrade to the outlook compared to a previous forecast for full-year core earnings to be “flat to slightly down” on the previous year, and analysts were forecasting on average £12.9bn.

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