Excluded workers forgotten says Midlothian MP

Tuesday January 5th 2021


Midlothian MP Owen Thompson

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Commenting on the updated package of Covid19 support announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Midlothian MP Owen Thompson said that while additional funds were very much welcome, it was disappointing that the UK Government had still failed to fix the gaps which have left almost three million taxpayers excluded from support so far.

Mr Thompson said:-

“These emergency funds are desperately needed by struggling retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in Midlothian, although after the loss of income in the vital Christmas period, I really hope it is not too little, too late for many.

“It’s disappointing that the announcement fails to address the urgent need for support for almost three million people excluded from UK Government schemes for the last nine months. They have turned a blind eye to the plight of freelance workers, self-employed and small businesses that have been struggling without a penny in fiscal support.

“When the emergency schemes were first drawn up it’s understandable that some people fell through the gaps, but there has been plenty time to fix this. The UK Government has instead seemed content to leave almost three million people to their own devices while they remain unable to earn a living. I have heard too many heartbreaking tales from constituents left in poverty by the pandemic, so I urge the UK Government to finally work with organisations like ExcludedUK and WeMakeEvents to find solutions and take action.

“During this crisis the UK Government has shown itself time and again to be too slow to act, ill-prepared and unwilling or unable to learn from its previous mistakes. The business community needs better than this. They need longer-term thinking, clarity, support and strong leadership during this pandemic. They rely on the government to be there for them now, so they can be there for all of us, creating jobs and kickstarting the economy when the time comes.”

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