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Coronavirus: Employment Support

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Meg Hillier Meg Hillier Chair, Public Accounts Committee 10:30 am, 19th March 2020

So many of my constituents are caught up in this, like those of other hon. Members, and I have constituents who have no recourse to public funds, so when they are unable to work they cannot claim benefits. Many are freelancers and people who are self-employed and running small businesses. None of the packages the Government have announced help them so far. The Minister has had to be dragged here to answer an urgent question and has nothing he can say that will comfort our constituents. I think we all recognise that it is difficult, but could he not even give us a clue about the general direction of thinking from the Government? Will he raise the local housing allowance? Will the Government ensure that those with no recourse to public funds get funded? Will they stop this ridiculous loan system, which will never get paid back? Businesses will go bankrupt before they can pay it, and they are laying off staff now.