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Self-employed Persons: Financial Support

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:31 pm on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay The Chief Secretary to the Treasury 12:31 pm, 24th March 2020

I accept the concern the hon. Lady raises, but I think she would equally accept that this is an unprecedented challenge and that staff in the DWP and elsewhere are working heroically to address the increased volumes. The best way for all of us to address this issue is through wider support for the economy as a whole. That is what was behind, first, the £30 billion of fiscal measures announced by the Chancellor at the Budget; the further announcement of the £350 billion, including £330 billion of loans, and the wider package last Tuesday; and the further measures announced by the Chancellor on Friday. That is on top of the measures the Bank of England has taken—for example, reducing base rates, and the £200 billion of bonds. A range of measures have been taken to support the economy and to reduce that blockage, but I absolutely accept that the numbers have increased, and we are reprioritising work in the DWP to assist with that.