Jane Dodds

Expand furlough to protect Powys workers and businesses

Powys businesses need continued support as lockdown ends.

By Callum James Littlemore, Jun 15, 2020 3:06

Bookshelf in a bookshop.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are urging the UK Government to extend furlough support to prevent a spike in unemployment.

According to UK Government statistics published in the last week, 13,100 people across Powys have benefited from the job retention scheme.

The statistics also show a further 8,100 people in Powys are receiving financial support through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, which was introduced following a successful campaign by the Liberal Democrats.

In response to these figures, the Welsh Lib Dems are calling for the UK Government to urgently expand of the self-employed support scheme to cover all those who’re self-employed.

Jane Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:

"The Coronavirus crisis is leaving thousands facing financial uncertainty. As we look to move out of lockdown and re-open our high streets we need to ensure everyone is getting the support they need.

“The furlough scheme has been a lifeline for so many in our communities. However, I worry about the hundreds of self-employed small businesses, like Bookish in Crickhowell, who have been consistently let down by the system.

“Many parts of our economy, particularly our hospitality and tourism sector, will simply not be back up to speed by October - when the current support schemes are set to end. 

"The UK Government must extend the support available to self-employed business owners. They also need to ensure this support remains in place until normal trade can resume, to avoid hundreds of bussiness going under."

Acting leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey MP added:

“The Liberal Democrats are calling for statutory sick pay to be increased to £220 a week to ensure everyone can self-isolate, following guidance, regardless of their type of work.

"Ministers must also resolve the gaps in their plans by helping those who recently became self-employed by expanding the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme."

 

The Liberal Democrats are urging people to support their campaign here: https://www.libdems.org.uk/protect-jobs

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