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Petitions submitted calling for help for three million excluded from coronavirus support

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15/07/2020
Campaigners today submitted petitions on behalf of the three million people excluded from the government’s coronavirus support packages to call for help.

A cross party group of MPs, ExcludedUK, ForgottenLtd and MoneySavingExpert.com’s founder Martin Lewis called on the government to fill the gaps and offer support to the three million who have been excluded from financial assistance in the wake of the pandemic.

The government unveiled the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme offering up to £2,500 a month for furloughed workers, and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

However, given the eligibility criteria, a number of people have slipped through the net, including those who are newly self-employed, who are paid in dividends and those denied furlough.

ExcludedUK said it was disappointed that the chancellor offered no support to this group as part of his mini-budget last week.

And today it said it is calling on the treasury to challenge the chancellor on the gaps in support and recognise the financial hardship being faced by these groups.

It said: “Those affected come from every walk of life – those who were furthering their careers by starting a new job, those who have set up a new business, those who have entrepreneurial spirit and serve their communities and beyond as small businesses, those who earn their living through a combination of PAYE and self-employment, those whose parental leave fell at a certain time, those caught out by pension payments, redundancy payments, those shielding and more – from beauticians, to dog groomers, charity workers, construction workers, hairdressers, electricians, plumbers, nurses, drama/music/dance teachers, arts and media professionals, lawyers, dentists, vets, those in marketing, events, hospitality… The list goes on.”

Caroline Lucas MP, co-chair of the ExcludedUK All Party Parliamentary Group, said: “It’s deeply unfair and causing hardship to millions who’ve fallen through the gaps.”

A treasury spokesperson, said: “We have introduced a generous and wide-ranging package of support to help as many people as possible whose income has been affected during this time, with more than 12 million claims to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

“Those who do not qualify will be able to access a range of other support – including income tax deferrals, access to a range of grants and loans, and three-month mortgage holidays. We’ve also injected £6.5 billion into the welfare safety net to make it more generous.

“The Chancellor has just announced a plan to protect, support and create jobs, and as the economy re-opens, we will continue to adjust our support in a way that gets people back to work safely, protecting the economy and the livelihoods of people across the country.”

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