Responding to demands from Imran Hussain MP, the Prime Minister has agreed to listen to calls to provide support for jobs and businesses prevented from accessing Government support schemes during the Coronavirus crisis.

Whilst the Government has agreed to provide support with measures such as Business Rates holidays, one-off grants and VAT reductions, these schemes are focused solely on the hospitality, retail and tourism sectors of the economy and fail to acknowledge the impact of closures on supply chains and other parts of the economy which have been left without any comparable support.

The Government’s support schemes also exclude many of those who are self-employed, with strict eligibility criteria that prevent applications from those for whom self-employment does not form the majority of their income and those who were recently self-employed.

Imran has therefore joined campaign group Excluded UK to call on the Chancellor to provide urgent financial support to those who have been excluded from the Government’s support schemes to prevent job losses, business closures and losses to income for the self-employed, and ensure that everyone who needs support to get through this crisis can receive it.

These calls were repeated yesterday by Imran in a demand to the Prime Minister during his statement in Parliament, with the Prime Minister agreeing to listen to Imran and Excluded UK.

Speaking on his call to the Prime Minister to provide support to jobs and businesses excluded from Government schemes, Imran said:

“Last year the Chancellor told us that he would do “whatever it takes” to protect people’s jobs, businesses and livelihoods, but he excluded vast numbers from being able to access any kind of support, forcing businesses to cut jobs or close and the self-employed to turn to Universal Credit to avoid destitution.

“In places like Bradford where we already have a high number of people trying to get by on low incomes and many businesses in sectors that have been affected by the Government’s lockdowns, this exclusion from support has hit especially hard and has undoubtedly aggravated poverty and deprivation across the District.

“After an almost ten-month battle to get any recognition for their plight, I’m therefore pleased the Prime Minister has agreed to listen to the calls for greater support, but he must now live up to his promise and extend the coverage of the Government’s schemes so that all those in Bradford who need support can get it.”

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