Stirling MP Alyn Smith has backed renewed calls on the Tory government to fix the serious gaps in support for the forgotten millions – as the New Starter Justice campaign launches a day of protest online for those still left out of coronavirus financial support schemes.
The UK Tory government now faces fresh pressure to maintain support for employed and self-employed people for as long as is necessary in each of the four nations – and expand the schemes to cover people including the recently employed, seasonal workers, freelancers, and the recently self-employed.
Last week, the cross-party Treasury Select Committee urged Chancellor Rishi Sunak to make good on his commitment to “do whatever it takes” to support people – warning more than a million people have fallen through the cracks in the government’s Covid-19 income support schemes.
Alyn Smith MP said:
‘The Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised to do ‘whatever it takes’ to support people through this crisis. Yet as the weeks have gone by, and the scale of the economic damage becomes clear, the Treasury has ignored feedback and advice from our constituents on where the gaps in support programmes lie.
‘Many recently-employed, seasonal workers, freelancers, and self-employed people have had little to no access to support during this unprecedented health and economic emergency.
‘Experts now warn of an incoming economic crisis, combined with the very real danger of a second wave of localised flare ups. As the Fraser of Allander Institute has said – withdrawing financial support could result in a raft of redundancies and business closures.
‘It is vital that the financial schemes are maintained for as long as is necessary in all four nations, and that the financial powers and funding the Scottish Parliament will need to secure a strong recovery in Scotland are delivered.’
Notes for Editors:
Information about the New Starter Justice campaign #GapsInSupport digital protest: https://twitter.com/NewStarterJust/status/1275376666639024128?s=20
‘Coronavirus: more than a million left out of income support, say MPs’ – https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jun/15/more-than-a-million-left-out-of-coronavirus-income-support-say-mps
‘Towards a Robust, Resilient Wellbeing Economy for Scotland: Report of the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery’ – https://www.gov.scot/publications/towards-robust-resilient-wellbeing-economy-scotland-report-advisory-group-economic-recovery/
‘Coronavirus in Scotland: ‘Deepest recession in living memory’ warn experts’ – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-53157358
‘Coronavirus: UK must prepare for second virus wave – health leaders’ – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53159918