CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride, who serves as Chair of the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee, has questioned whether the Chancellor is helping enough people cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. While acknowledging the huge numbers who have benefited from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which allows staff to be furloughed, and the Self Employment Income Support Scheme, which provides equivalent help for the self-employed, Mr Stride said that the committee “remains to be convinced that more people could not have been helped”.
Mr Stride said:
“The help the Government has provided to millions of workers is unprecedented. I am grateful that more than 10,000 employed workers and another 5,000 self-employed workers in my constituency have benefited from nationally-funded support measures. But I am deeply concerned that the Chancellor has effectively drawn a line under helping those who fall outside the parameters for support.”
In person in the House of Commons and through virtual meetings with the Chancellor, Mr Stride has highlighted the plight of newly self-employed workers without three years of accounts, freelancers or those on short term contracts, workers who started jobs after the 31st March cut-off date and small business owners who receive most of their income from dividends – all of whom have been ineligible for the Government’s key support measures. Mr Stride also pressed these issues recently on BBC Newsnight.