Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson is backing a new bill that would offer financial help to the millions of workers and business owners who have received no state support during the Covid crisis.
Mr Esterson has sponsored his Labour colleague Tracy Brabin MP’s ten minute rule bill, which would help the “excluded” - freelancers, limited company directors, large numbers of self-employed, and workers who changed jobs at the wrong time and therefore did not qualify for furlough.
The motion asks the government to “undertake an assessment of any gaps in financial support provided to individuals, businesses and industries over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic; to require the Government to report to Parliament on steps it intends to take in connection with any such gaps”.
A survey from Excluded UK found that more than half of the self-employed workers in the UK have seen their income fall to 20 per cent or less of what they were earning before the pandemic struck.
Mr Esterson said: “I have spoken out about the Excluded groups in Parliament possibly more than any other issue during the Covid crisis.
“In my constituency we have many people who have had no support, for instance contractors who pay themselves through dividends, and were forced to because it was the only way they could get paid.
“We have taxi drivers and driving instructors who took lump sums from pensions to pay off their mortgage two or three years ago, who have received nothing because the pension payment was higher than the money earned in self-employment in that year. P
“eople who run their businesses from their home have not been entitled to grants. We have many workers, especially young people, who switched job at the beginning of March and then were let go because they didn’t qualify for furlough.”