MP urges government ‘not to leave the self-employed behind’

You are here: Home / News / MP urges government ‘not to leave the self-employed behind’
26 Mar 2020
Margaret Greenwood has called on the government to protect the incomes of those likely to be hit by the coronavirus pandemic and to urgently bring forward measures to help the self-employed.

This came as it was revealed that around 477,000 claims for Universal Credit were processed in the space of just nine days.

The Wirral West MP, who is also Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said that the government should re-employ former DWP employees to deal with the huge increase in demand. She also said that advance payments for Universal Credit should be automatic and that they should be paid in the form of a grant rather than a loan which has to be paid back later.

Ms Greenwood also called on the government to support self-employed people by extending eligibility for the Jobs Retention Scheme which was announced last week and enables employers to access a grant to cover 80% of the wages of people who are not working but are furloughed and kept on payroll, rather than being laid off.

Margaret Greenwood MP said:

“Hundreds of thousands of working people are having to access the social security system for the very first time because of the health emergency. Not only is there chaos as they seek to secure support, they will be shocked at the low level of payments.

“It is vital that people get the support that they need in the face of this crisis.

“The government should make advance payments for Universal Credit automatic and make them a grant not a loan.

“They should also make sure that they don't leave the self-employed behind. They should provide them with support equivalent to the Jobs Retention Scheme.

“The government has cut tens of thousands of DWP jobs since 2010 as part of its austerity drive – including many locally. The government should now look to calling people back into employment during this time to make sure people can get the support they need in good time.”