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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

The Prime Minister knows that we want to work with him on this, but there is frustration because we have gone into lockdown and workers are without income. This is an emergency. The truth is that the health and economic costs of this virus are deepening by the day. People deserve strong leadership, financial support and straight answers. As we stand here, these people are losing their incomes. Telling them to wait another day simply is not good enough.

In Norway and Denmark, wage support schemes have already been extended to cover the incomes of the self-employed. In Germany, there is a €50 billion programme to ensure that the self-employed do not go bankrupt. In Ireland, the self-employed are eligible for a special pandemic payment of €350 a week. The Scottish Government have written to the Chancellor, asking him to expand the job retention scheme that he announced last week to include the self-employed. Will the Prime Minister confirm that, when the Chancellor eventually does announce measures, there will be parity and equality of support between the already announced job retention scheme and the new scheme for the self-employed? They must not be left behind, Prime Minister.