Christina Rees, MP for Neath, is calling on the Chancellor to fill the gaps in support for the self-employed in this week’s Budget after months of failing to take action.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Gaps in Support, of which Christina is a vice chair, recently published a report detailing what action the UK Government must take in the Budget. The report estimated 3 million people UK-wide have been excluded from the schemes put in place by the Chancellor and noted how there must be adjustments to the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme (CJRS). In addition to this Christina is calling for support for the newly self-employed, PAYE freelancers, new parents and pregnant women.
Welsh Labour is calling on the UK Government to sustain UK-wide business support, retaining and updating the Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, deliver welfare and taxation measures to support the most vulnerable and provide an injection of funding to support the transition to Net Zero.
Christina Rees, MP for Neath, said:
“I have been a long-standing member of the APPG on Gaps in Support and I’m calling on the Chancellor to act on our recommendations in his Budget. For too long, people in Neath have fallen through the gaps of the UK Government’s schemes because these schemes were poorly thought out. A Budget gives a government time to reflect on their past failings and correct them.
“The writing has been on the wall for some time, but the UK Government has refused to act. This has meant that pregnant women, who are classed as clinically vulnerable, have in some cases been denied access to furlough. This is not right.
“Thankfully we have had the Welsh Labour Government trying to plug the gaps. Small businesses in Wales have had some of the best support of all the nations in the UK – such as Business Rate relief, the Economic Resilience Fund and the grants to help people start their own business. But they have been doing this with one hand tied behind their back. I’m calling on the Chancellor to work with Wales, and even follow where we have led, so that we can move Wales forward.”