Midlothian MP, Owen Thompson, will urge the UK Government on Wednesday to finally deliver meaningful support to individuals and businesses who have found themselves excluded from financial support throughout the pandemic.
Mr Thompson will lead a debate in the House of Commons highlighting the government’s failure to support over 3 million people across the UK – all of whom were either not granted access to the Job Retention Scheme or the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme back in May 2020.
Despite campaigning for over a year on the issue – alongside grassroots organisation including “ExcludedUK” and “We Make Events” – Mr THompson said an estimated ten percent of the UK workforce are still waiting on any meaningful support package from the UK government to help them through the crisis.
He is now urging Boris Johnson to finally take meaningful action to assist these businesses as restrictions ease, or face a growing poverty, debt and mental health crisis.
Mr Thompson said: “For over a year now I have called on this UK Government to take meaningful action on the three million people across the UK who have been forgotten or ignored throughout this pandemic.
“Restrictions may be easing but the issues for those who have been excluded will not disappear. Rising debt after a year with next to no income means the next few months will still be extremely difficult.
“These individuals, through no fault of their own, have fallen through the cracks of the UK governments financial support system, with many receiving no support whatsoever. This is a shameful situation, and one that the UK government must now take action to fix.
“Key sectors to the economy such as the music industry, the performing arts, and outdoor festivals have been brought to their knees – they rely on an army of freelancers right across the supply chain whose income has been devastated overnight and will take some time to recover.
“I’m now urging the UK government to heed the calls and take meaningful action that will help secure the long-term future of these sectors, and the individuals that work within them.
“Proposals on how to plug these gaps have been presented to the Treasury over and over again, yet they remain sitting on the table. The onus is now very much on this Tory government to develop a workable solution to tackle this growing problem as restrictions ease.
“Failure to do so will lead to a poverty, debt and mental health crisis.”