Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and members of the Parliamentary Labour Party have challenged the Chancellor over “significant gaps” in the Coronavirus compensation scheme: a lack of support for the self-employed and his failure to raise the level of sick pay. The MPs urge the Chancellor to develop new proposals to address these issues, so that no one is forced to choose between health and hardship.
In a letter to Rishi Sunak, they wrote:
“First, your proposal for income support through the jobs retention scheme does not include the self-employed and freelancers, whose income are now increasingly being seriously affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.”
“Second, you have failed to raise the level of statutory sick pay currently at £94.25 a week. Clearly, as the Secretary of State for Health confirmed when questioned this week, this is not an income level that anyone can live on.”