Economic Outlook and Furlough Scheme Changes

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 16th June 2020.

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Photo of Meg Hillier Meg Hillier Chair, Public Accounts Committee, Chair, Public Accounts Committee 12:39 pm, 16th June 2020

In my constituency, around 25% of the population, aged 16 to 64, are being furloughed or are receiving universal credit. The additional support for people on the self-employment scheme probably takes the figure to 30%. We recognise, therefore, the scale of the Government’s intervention, but there are many freelancers on short-term contracts or on different ways of working for freelance industries who are not getting a penny, many of whom have a strong and detailed track record with HMRC, so the reverse engineering that took place with the main scheme could be applied to them. The Minister repeatedly keeps talking about the generosity of the scheme, which suggests no shift I assume. Will he be categoric now and tell us whether there is any hope for these forgotten freelancers?