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Engagements

Part of Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 12:00 pm on 25th March 2020.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 12:00 pm, 25th March 2020

I must say, in response to the questions from the Leader of the Opposition, that we all need to do what we can to bring all our people home, and that needs to happen now.

The Prime Minister said that the UK is putting its arms around all our workers. I hope that that will become the case because, as of today, it is not. This morning, the Resolution Foundation estimated that one in three people in self-employment—a total of 1.7 million workers—are now at risk of losing their income. In Scotland, that means that 320,000 self-employed people are deeply concerned about their jobs and the families they support. Last Friday, the Prime Minister and his Chancellor promised the self-employed that help was coming. Only yesterday, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury told them,

“we have not forgotten you—help is coming.”—[Official Report, 24 March 2020;
Vol. 674, c. 207.]

These are the same promises that have been made for weeks now, yet they, and we, are still waiting. Can the Prime Minister explain why a package of support for the self-employed was not put in place before we announced the lockdown?