Alyn Smith MP Calls for More Support Ahead of Festive Period Restrictions


Categories: Coronavirus (COVID-19), Local Business, UK Government (Westminster)

Stirling MP Alyn Smith has written to the Chancellor, following the announcements of new restrictions and a trimmed down festive period relaxation of the rules.

Mr Smith, a supporter of the Forgotten Ltd and Excluded UK campaign groups is calling for more, wide-ranging support to reach businesses and workers.

In his letter, Mr Smith points to the range of businesses and workers – including limited company directors, newly self-employed people, and those working in industries such as the creative sector – who have been excluded from support through the restrictive criteria

Commenting, Alyn Smith said:

“It is the case that not enough has been done to help people by the Treasury, and without Scotland having the necessary borrowing powers to offer financial support to businesses and workers, we need the UK government to get its act together.

“Christmas cannot go as planned, but the slight relaxation of the rules for Christmas Day, coupled with the threat we face from a seemingly faster-spreading variant of the Covid-19 virus, means that we have to enter into a period of stricter rules in order to help reduce the risk of community spread.

“This of course means that businesses will be faced with further challenges and loss in trade, and it is the job of government to offer support.

“To date, the UK government hasn’t gone nearly far enough in offering support to local businesses. I have spoken to numerous employees and business owners who have fallen through the cracks in being eligible for various support mechanisms due to the restrictive eligibility criteria put in place by the Treasury.

“This includes self-employed people, such as those working in some creative sectors, and people who are directors of limited companies – of which there are many in the Stirling constituency. I have called on the Chancellor to make this support available to people in these situations, but so far to no avail.

“With the new strict measures coming into effect that will have a clear impact on our local economy, I am calling on the UK government once again to do the right thing and support everyone who is losing out on business due to this pandemic crisis.”