Point of Order

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:02 pm on 12th January 2021.

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Photo of Iain Duncan Smith Iain Duncan Smith Conservative, Chingford and Woodford Green 2:02 pm, 12th January 2021

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I rise to seek your advice on an issue in my constituency for which I am unable to get redress. The fact is that there is a social enterprise called Clarity that employs, essentially, people with disabilities. They work hard and have done for many years. Sadly, about a year ago, Clarity was taken over by a Mr Marks, and since then staff have failed to receive national insurance contributions, with many failing to receive their wages or support while undertaking childcare.

The total amount that these decent but very vulnerable people have failed to receive is now around £200,000. They cannot claim benefits because they are essentially employed. I pushed my right hon. Friends in the Treasury on whether they can give those staff interim payments, but I received no answer. I tried to get a debate in the House before Christmas, but clearly it is a lottery and I have failed. These are the most vulnerable people, but also the most decent, hard-working and brilliant people. I seek your advice on how I can possibly get my Government to address this significant problem.