Chancellor Urged to Announce Package for Workers in Fiscal Statement

Ahead of the UK Fiscal Statement on Wednesday, the SNP Shadow Chancellor has demanded that the UK government announce a financial package of support for workers.

Alison Thewliss MP (pictured) called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to deliver a package of measures that include a commitment to extend the furlough scheme beyond its October deadline and to put in place vital financial support for ‘forgotten freelancers’ – those currently not entitled to any support from current UK government schemes.

The UK government has so far failed to put adequate financial support in place for those who have fallen through the cracks of the UK Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and many self-employed are also unable to claim furlough payments due to arbitrary UK government rules.

Already, Spain is reportedly extending its furlough scheme to the end of the year, and beyond to those sectors worst hit by coronavirus.

Ahead of the Chancellor’s Fiscal Statement, the SNP has set out its key asks of the UK Chancellor, including a huge programme of investment and devolution of financial powers needed to kickstart the economy, protect incomes and prevent soaring unemployment.

Alison Thewliss MP said:

“Across the UK, millions of people are crying out for urgent financial support from this Tory government.

“While forgotten freelancers have yet to receive a penny from the Chancellor, millions more face uncertainty with the furlough scheme due to taper off and end far too soon.

“We need an urgent financial package to deliver vital cash to those falling through the cracks and an extension of the furlough scheme to make it truly fit for purpose.

“With the stroke of his pen, Rishi Sunak can end this uncertainty for millions across the UK – the time to act is now before even more people find themselves in a dangerous cycle of spiralling debt.

“The UK government cannot continue to turn a blind eye while people are forced into extreme financial hardship.”