Liberal Democrat MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, Jamie Stone, has coordinated an open letter calling on the Government to support the 3 million people that have been excluded from support during the pandemic. It has been signed by 99 MPs from 9 different parties, who are members of his ExcludedUK All Parliamentary Party Group.
The correspondence highlights the plight of those entering a new job and may have missed out on the furloughing scheme, as well as those ineligible, such as people on zero-hours contracts, the newly self-employed and freelancers.
It comes after the Treasury Select Committee criticised Mr Sunak for “drawing a line” under the issue and demanded he step in to help those affected.
After sending the letter, Mr Stone warned the Government:
“Millions of people are still facing extreme hardship due to the coronavirus crisis, without any government support whatsoever. For Rishi Sunak to try and draw a line under this issue, refusing to consider helping these people, is cruel.
“Equally, it is not true that these issues are too complex to solve. With help from colleagues across the House, we have put forward workable solutions the Chancellor must consider – such as extended the eligibility for the existing schemes or changing the cut off dates of the current arbitrary ones imposed.
“There is no reason to exclude so many struggling to get by, and we urge Rishi Sunak to meet with us with his reasoning if he continues to feel otherwise. As far as we are concerned, for as long as these people remain without any help, this issue is not going anywhere.”
ExcludedUK co-founder - Sonali Joshi - added:
"Four months on, we continue to hear the same stock responses from the Chancellor when challenged on the 3 million who've been excluded from any meaningful UK Government Covid-19 financial support, as was the case when he appeared before the Treasury Committee last week.
"The Chancellor continues to emphasise those who have been helped, and most troubling, has repeatedly stated that people may not have been helped in the way they would have liked and that everyone can access some form of support.
"This is simply not the case. ExcludedUK is calling for fairness and parity in support urgently. The solutions are not complex. People are struggling to feed their families, pay their mortgages, rent, bills, or save their businesses. Loans and deferrals are not the answer. In order to look to the future and towards economic recovery, the 3 million people and households affected must be supported in line with those who have been helped through the existing schemes."