Topical Questions

Part of Treasury – in the House of Commons on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Rishi Sunak Rishi Sunak The Chancellor of the Exchequer

The hon. Gentleman illustrates exactly the issue with such a scheme. Looking at historical tax return data from a year and a half ago gives absolutely no guide as to whether someone today who is self-employed is prosperous, and indeed that their income may be increasing versus someone, who is not. Of course I am sympathetic to those whose situation is being adversely affected by what is going on. The issue is one of finding a way to target help at them, rather than having something that provides blanket cash subsidies to 5 million people, many of whom will not need it, which will end up costing all our constituents on modest incomes a considerable amount. It is about finding a way to target support for those who most need it, and that is what is requiring time and thought.