Labour's position on support for the self-employed
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26 Mar 2020
On 19 March Labour published its Economic Plan for Individuals Affected by Coronavirus, Wages, Welfare and Wellbeing which you can read
via the link below:
The government has since announced its Jobs Retention
Scheme which 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.
Labour has continued to highlight the fact that self-employed people
are not covered by the Job Retention Scheme, nor are they eligible for
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). The
Government has said that they should claim Universal Credit instead
under which they will receive the same level of support as those
claiming SSP. That level of support is completely inadequate to keep a
business going and Labour firmly believes that the government
should extend eligibility for the Jobs Retention Scheme to the
self-employed with support set at a level of up to 80% of average
earnings capped at a maximum of £2,500 a month based on tax returns over
the previous 1-5 years.
have continued to call for support for self-employed people, with both
the Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn, and the Shadow Chancellor
John McDonnell raising the issue
in Parliament yesterday.
Corbyn used his final speech in Parliament as Labour leader yesterday
to call on the government to ‘give peace of mind to all self-employed
workers’ and also reiterated
that the government should extend eligibility for the Jobs Retention
Scheme to them.
McDonnell also echoed this and made clear Labour’s view that since the
self-employed pay the same rates of tax as others, they deserve the same
protections. He also wrote
an article for The Guardian yesterday setting out Labour’s views which
you can read via the link below:
Labour will continue to press the government on these issues so that self-employed people receive support at this time.