Government must extend support for self-employed workers to prevent redundancies

May 20, 2020 3:04 PM
By Cllr Will Forster

The Lib Dems are urging the Government to extend income support for self-employed workers as official statistics have revealed the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Woking increased by 795 between March 2020 and April 2020.

Acting leader of the Lib Dems Ed Davey MP, who is asking the public to join his campaign to protect workers, warned "thousands of families face financial hardship" and called for the Government to do more.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in the UK is now at 2.1 million. This is an increase of 856,500 during the first month of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Lib Dems are also calling for more support for those reliant on Universal Credit and an end to the 5-week wait for benefits by raising benefit rates, abolishing sanctions and turning day-one Universal Credit loans into grants.

Acting Leader of Lib Dems, Ed Davey MP, said:

"The Coronavirus crisis is leaving the most vulnerable at risk. Thousands of families face financial hardship and people are rightly worried."

"The furlough scheme has rightly helped protect jobs but there are still millions of people that need help. That's why the Lib Dems are urging the Government to prevent further redundancies by extending income support for self-employed workers."

"Ministers must also not be allowed to forget the unacceptable five week wait for universal credit support. The Government must end this wait by raising benefit rates, abolishing sanctions and turning day-one Universal Credit loans into grants."

Lib Dem spokesperson for Woking, Councillor Will Forster, added:

"Too many in Woking are relying on food banks and friends to get by. Those five weeks that people have to wait before they see get their universal credit payment is agony."

"We must ensure no one is left behind as we tackle this cruel virus. To maintain any credibility and help the most in need, the Government must urgently resolve the gaps in their plans."