“We hope that nobody has been excluded.”
These seven words from our Prime Minister angered me probably more than any others since Coronavirus took over our lives.
Boris Johnson was responding to a question from Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine this week asking for more help for those who have so far not received Government support.
Watch it here
The Prime Minister's comments show absolute disregard for the millions across the UK who have had no support. That is 3 million people who have fallen through the cracks and no plan to something about it-#excluded #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/tMMIJBt28F— Christine Jardine (@cajardineMP) November 23, 2020
There are three million people who have fallen through the cracks in the Government’s supports. They include freelancers in the creative industry, newly self-employed people, those who were paid by dividends. We are not talking about billionaires here. We are talking about people like cleaners and hairdressers and people who run events companies and physiotherapists. A diverse group whose businesses have been brought to a halt by the pandemic.
Having no income for a few weeks of lockdown is difficult enough. It’s 8 months today since the lockdown was first imposed and some people have had little or no income since then. Many are in serious danger of losing their hones.
Liberal Democrat MP Jamie Stone chairs an All Party Parliamentary Group to fight for more help for the excluded. 400 MPs have signed up to support it.
However the Government refuses to budge. Ministers have been asked repeatedly to provide more support and have refused.
Boris Johnson’s comment that he hoped nobody had been excluded shows either ignorance of what his government is doing or callous disregard of a group of people who are really struggling.
The Scottish Government has made some effort to help some of those struggling, but their efforts have not gone far enough.
Liberal Democrats are committed to working towards a Universal Basic Income to ensure that in the future nobody is left without support.
We will not give up pressing both Governments to do more to help those 3 million people.