Chancellor's pledge to county MP over support for self-employed

By Mark Andrews | Telford | News | Published:

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has assured a Shropshire MP that he is working on measures to provide support for self-employed workers during the coronavirus crisis.

Mark Pritchard, MP for The Wrekin, has tabled a series of questions to ministers calling for urgent help for self-employed people who are unable to earn.

Over the past week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a package of measures aimed at supporting workers laid off during the crisis, but so far nothing to support self-employed workers who are unable to work.

Mr Pritchard said while he welcomed the moves to support employees, he wanted to know when the self-employed and freelance workers would be be given the same support.

He said: "The Chancellor will know that 15 per cent of the UK workforce is self-employed equating to about five million people up and down the country.

"According to the Federation of Small Businesses, there are 5,600 in The Wrekin.

"When will the Government come forward with plans for the self-employed and free-lancers, given the immediacy of their need?"

Mr Sunak said it was an extremely complicated situation, which the Treasury had been looking at in intense detail over the past week.

"There are genuine practical and principled reasons why it is incredibly complicated to design a scheme that is analogous to the one that we have for employed workers, but he can rest assured that we absolutely understand the situation that many self-employed people face at the moment as a result of what is happening and we are determined to find a way to support them," he said.

"We need to be confident that that can be done in a way that is deliverable and fair to the vast majority of the British workforce."

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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