Margaret Greenwood MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has written to Therese Coffey calling for Universal Credit to offer non-repayable grants now that the number of new claims has passed one million.
Greenwood also raises major concerns with Statutory Sick Pay:
- The government has not extended eligibility for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to workers earning below the threshold to qualify of £118 a week
- The government has not raised the level of SSP
- The support that has been announced does not cover certain groups such as people who remain employed but whose hours are cut
Speaking up for those who cannot survive on or are not entitled to SSP and those claiming Universal Credit, she said:
“It is vital that people are able to self-isolate if they need to. The government must extend Statutory Sick Pay to all workers, raise the level of payment and provide support to those who are still in work, but whose hours have been cut.
“Labour does not believe that advances are the answer to the five-week wait; they are loans that have to be repaid. Alongside a number of leading voluntary organisations, we believe that advances should be turned into non-repayable grants.”