The Chancellor’s welcome support for the self-employed may be comprehensive, but it is way, way too late. If it does not kick in before June that could be 9 or 10 weeks away and in the meantime all that is available is Universal Credit which, at £94 a week, offers intermittent penury as much as support. Add to this the fact that 1 in 4 people don’t have any savings, and often the self-employed regard their business as the repository of their savings, this is going to be an even more difficult time than it should be for many.
Without decent support, people will feel obliged to preserve their income in some way and may risk keeping working whilst putting their own and other people’s health at risk.
Although Sunak has recently increased Universal Credit by £20 there is still an unnecessary five week delay when nothing is paid.
This is where the Tories seem incapable of thinking-through their pre-conceived ideologies. It is as if, in signing up to support Brexit before the election, they were also forced to take the empathy bi-pass pill.
What was Duncan-Smith’s scheme to encourage people into work and ‘make work pay’ now needs to be a scheme to encourage people not to work and make being out of work pay.
If they really want to stop an epidemic, that is.