Hundreds more young people in Maldon are claiming Universal Credit than before the coronavirus pandemic, new figures reveal.

Department for Work and Pensions statistics show 668 people aged 16-24 in Maldon were on Universal Credit as August 13.

This was more than double the 276 who were claiming the benefit in early March, before the country went into lockdown.

The Intergenerational Foundation charity says younger people will be left to pay the bill for protecting older generations for decade to come.

Co-founder Ashley Seager said: “These statistics demonstrate the intergenerational unfairness in the Government's approach to Covid.

“Our youngest workers are now starting to suffer a massive blow to their incomes and job prospects.”

Maldon's young people joined 76,198 others in the age group across the East of England who were seeking support in August, up from 37,886 in March.

Ashley said the Government urgently needs to boost funding for the £2billion Kickstart scheme, which subsidises work placements for young people facing long-term unemployment.

Office for National Statistics figures show the unemployment rate increased to 4.1 per cent in the three months to July- the highest for nearly two years.