Coronavirus: Disease Control

Treasury written question – answered on 1st December 2020.

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Photo of Owen Thompson Owen Thompson SNP Whip

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of data published by (a) HMRC, (b) Office of National Statistics, (c) Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Business Population Estimates and (d) the National Audit Office on the number of people not eligible for financial support during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Government has provided a comprehensive economic response that is one of the most generous in the world, taking unprecedented steps to support families, businesses and the most vulnerable. As well as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employment Support Scheme (SEISS), the package includes a suite of Government-backed loans and grants to businesses, tax deferrals and mortgage and consumer credit holidays. This package also includes extra funding for the welfare safety net, to help those unable to obtain other forms of support. The temporary welfare measures include increases to Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, and Local Housing Allowance, a relaxation of the Universal Credit minimum income floor and measures to make Statutory Sick Pay and new style Employment and Support Allowance easier to access.

The Government prioritised delivering support to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible while guarding against the risk of fraud or abuse. The Government takes an evidence-based approach when developing policy, and this has meant making difficult decisions; the Chancellor has acknowledged that it has not been possible to support everyone as they would want. However, as the National Audit Office report acknowledges, the support schemes have been successful in supporting millions of people and protecting large scale job losses.

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