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Chancellor Must Fix Support Gaps as a Priority

Published:

Categories: Childcare, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Inequality, UK Government (Westminster)

Stirling MP Alyn Smith has called on the UK Government to act urgently to correct glaring gaps within existing Covid-19 financial support schemes.

In a letter to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Mr Smith highlights how, almost one year on from the beginning of the pandemic, there still exists a lack of provision for PAYE freelance workers and the newly self-employed, as well as exceptions in support for almost 3 million excluded workers from all employment sectors and all walks of life.

In particular, a recent survey of 50,000 women in the UK found that more than 70% of working mothers who had requested furlough for children reasons due to school closures had been refused.1

Mr Smith urges the UK Government to recognise the pitfalls – which have been highlighted by pressure groups, trade bodies and political parties for months – and quickly remedy the issue with fresh support.

Alyn Smith MP said:

‘The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic cannot be understated, and the constituents who’ve been in touch with me over this issue recognise the overall difficulty governments face in responding to such a crisis.

‘But almost one year into such a generational challenge, their patience has run out. Millions have been excluded from financial support schemes so far, and whole swathes and sectors of industry are being left to wither on the vine as they are not getting the help they desperately need.

‘The plight of the 3 million excluded in particular looks increasingly like an active policy decision rather than one stemming from ignorance. The Chancellor must act, and act soon.’

Notes

1 – Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jan/13/furlough-refused-to-71-of-uk-working-mothers-while-schools-shut-survey