Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been urged to boost Universal Credit and treble sick pay to avoid British children from going hungry.
General secretary of the Trades Union Congress Frances O'Grady has called on the PM to increase sick pay to £320 (KY$350) a week and improve Universal Credit payments.
She has also urged him to make saving livelihoods his top priority by extending the job retention scheme.
Her call comes as a top economist warns Britain may not recover from recession until 2023, ripping apart the PM’s claim of a swift V-shaped recovery, turning it into a slow L-shaped one.
It means Chancellor Rishi Sunak will have to find over $20 billion a year to pay the Universal Credit of a predicted four million jobless.
Writing in the Sunday Mirror, O’Grady said: "It’s not good enough for ministers to tell us to brace ourselves for 'hard times ahead'. The Government claims we can’t afford to carry on supporting jobs but the truth is we can’t afford not to.
"No child should go to bed hungry. And no parent should have to worry about feeding or clothing their kids."
Holger Schmieding, chief London economist of Berenberg Bank, said the UK will be a year behind the US and Europe in getting its economy going.
And he blamed the PM’s delay in introducing lockdown and Brexit chaos for the mess the UK now faces.
He said: "Our guess is that the UK will take until early 2023 to get back to where it was in terms of 2019 output.
"Britain has one of the world’s best economies but has made two big mistakes – Brexit and getting the pandemic wrong.