Shropshire Star

Lib Dems call for government coronavirus support scheme to be extended

Liberal Democrats in North Shropshire have called for an extension to the government's furlough scheme to protect jobs and avoid high levels of unemployment.

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Helen Morgan

According to government statistics published this week, 11,800 people in North Shropshire have benefited from the job retention scheme during the coronavirus pandemic. A further 4,100 people in North Shropshire are receiving financial support through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, following a campaign by the Liberal Democrats.

The party is now urging the government to extend furlough support and bring forward bespoke packages of support for key sectors, such as hospitality, to avoid high levels of local unemployment.

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North Shropshire Liberal Democrat spokesperson Helen Morgan said: "The furlough scheme is a lifeline for so many. However, I worry what will happen to people here in North Shropshire who rely on furlough support if it ends before the local economy has recovered.

“Many parts of our economy, such as hospitality, will simply not be back up to speed by October. The government must bring forward bespoke packages of support for these industries to save jobs and prevent mass unemployment.”

Acting leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey MP, who is asking the public to join his campaign to protect workers, said: “The coronavirus crisis is leaving thousands of families facing financial uncertainty. Financial support must be agreed to ensure no one is left behind.

“Liberal Democrats are calling for statutory sick pay to be increased to £220 a week to ensure everyone can self-isolate, following guidance, regardless of their type of work.

"Ministers must also resolve the gaps in their plans by helping those who recently became self-employed by expanding the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme."