Coronavirus: Tony Lloyd MP urges for self-employment support

Date published: 24 March 2020

Tony Lloyd, MP for Rochdale, has joined his fellow Shadow Cabinet members in urging the Chancellor of the Exchequer to include the self-employed and freelancers in the jobs retention scheme, as their income is now increasingly being seriously affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Tony Lloyd said, "The plight of the self-employed is desperate. There are 6,100 self-employed workers in my constituency, each one with themselves and families to support, all of them facing great uncertainty. That's why Labour is still pushing the Chancellor to provide more support. The package given so far isn't enough."

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP, released a statement on Friday 20 March setting out plans to support the incomes of workers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. 

Writing to the Chancellor, Labour's Shadow Cabinet members have pointed out "two significant gaps in the provisions” the Chancellor has provided: "First, your proposal for income support through the jobs retention scheme does not include the self-employed and freelancers, whose income are now increasingly being seriously affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

"Second, you have failed to raise the level of statutory sick pay currently at £94.25 a week. Clearly, as the Secretary of State for Health confirmed when questioned this week, this is not an income level that anyone can live on.

"We would urge that you think again about these two issues and bring to Parliament firm proposals to address our concerns."

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