31 October 2020
As increased lockdown restrictions are announced by the Prime Minister, ExcludedUK steps up its calls for help for those individuals and businesses excluded from meaningful support
Further to today’s announcement of increased restrictions across England, ExcludedUK reasserts the urgent and vital need to support livelihoods and businesses, and most importantly, those who have been excluded from any meaningful government Covid-19 financial support thus far through no fault of their own.
As the CJRS and SEISS schemes were due to come to an end today, ExcludedUK welcomes the announcement that CJRS will continue in some form, although it is to be seen how this will operate and indeed whether the SEISS scheme will be extended. However, these schemes fell far short of remotely providing adequate financial support for all, excluding an estimated 3 million. This was backed up by statistics released by the National Audit Office on 23 October which found that 2.9 million were not eligible for the government Covid-19 financial support schemes. This report also highlighted the fact that many who have lost income have not been able to access support, thus contradicting the Government's repeated assertions that everyone has been helped in some way. In a report published by the Resolution Foundation earlier this week, it was recognised that this crisis is far from over, and poorly targeted schemes have resulted in huge disparities.
The glaring omission of support for the 3 million thus far excluded is unacceptable. ExcludedUK calls on the Government to recognise once and for all the extreme financial hardship caused by the hard policy edges to these schemes, leaving many individuals destitute, having faced severe hardship for over 7 months, many businesses having collapsed or on the brink, mounting dept and an ever severe mental health crisis, some sadly taking their own lives.
The Government simply cannot continue to ignore the extreme hardship that those excluded have been forced into as a result of its policies, for many the first time in their lives, and for many the first time they have ever had to apply for welfare (many not even being eligible). When faced with pressing questions concerning those excluded from meaningful support over recent months, this has repeatedly been met with the same baseless responses and intransigence on the part of the Chancellor and this simply cannot continue.
While these further measures are necessary to curb the second Covid-19 wave across the UK, individuals and businesses must be provided with the urgent support they need to see this crisis through. As Christmas approaches, what is for many businesses the most significant period of the year, coupled with the impact on families and those already in need, it is imperative that the Government recognises its failings thus far in “putting its arms around the nation” and provide urgent support, not least to aid future economic recovery.
ExcludedUK asserts in the strongest terms that no individual nor business should be excluded through no fault of their own and calls on the Government to act now to save jobs, livelihoods and businesses.
ExcludedUK is a volunteer-led grassroots non-profit organisation seeking to amplify the voices of the 3 million UK taxpayers excluded through no fault of their own, and is committed to continuing to work towards bringing an end to the unfairness, injustice and discrimination in the Government’s Covid-19 financial support measures.