Self-employed workers in the creative industries were singled out in a Parliamentary debate on Wednesday 9 December 2020 on support for people ineligible for Covid-19 schemes.
Opening the debate, Munira Wilson MP reminded the Government that the UK’s cultural industries were world-leading, while Christine Jardine MP said that if we wanted our theatres to reopen and our TV industry to thrive again, it was important that the three million who had been excluded from support, including the self-employed and workers in the cultural sector, should receive help.
“Covid-19 does not discriminate,” she said, but for those people who have fallen through the gaps “it must seem like the Government does.”
Bridget Phillipson MP told how she had heard from trade unions, including the WGGB, about the plight of many of their members.
The debate highlighted heart-breaking stories of desperate need, including people resorting to foodbanks and not being able to heat their homes.
MPs highlighted the “stark” mental health impact of those who had fallen through the gaps of support.
Many of those excluded from Government support were hard-working tax payers, wealth creators and entrepreneurs and it was “short-sighted of the Government” to continue to refuse to listen to their stories and to the solutions being proposed by organisations, including industry bodies and trade unions.
Andrea Leadsom MP said that those who had been left behind had often been so simply because of “unfortunate timing”.
MPs called on the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to “think again” and not renege on his promise to do “whatever it takes” to support those impacted by the pandemic.
WGGB will continue to press the Government on this issue, as it has throughout Covid-19.