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15 June, 2020 Open access

MPs urge government to ‘fill the gaps’ in Job Retention and Self-Employment Income Support schemes to assist the more than a million people currently excluded

Treasury Committee report also includes recommendations to support ‘new starters’ in employment and self-employment who are currently excluded from CJRS and SEISS

MPs have urged the government to ‘fill the gaps’ in the Job Retention and Self-Employment Income Support schemes (CJRS and SEISS) to assist the more than a million people excluded by the eligibility rules as they currently stand.

In Gaps in Support, a unanimously-agreed interim report published today that forms part of the Treasury Committee’s ongoing inquiry into the Economic Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19), it welcomes the scale and speed at which the government introduced support for salaried and self-employed workers, highlighting that up to 7 June 2020, 8.9 million jobs were being furloughed under the CJRS at a cost of £19.6 billion, and 2.6 million claims had been made to the SEISS for £7.5 billion.

However, notwithstanding the substantial costs to the Exchequer under the schemes, the Committee says that it is concerned that more than a million workers facing financial difficulties are not eligible.

As a result, the Committee makes a series of recommendations for how the government can assist the specific groups that are missing out, including -

Commenting on the report, Chair of the Committee Mel Stride said today -

‘The Chancellor has said that he will do whatever it takes to support people and businesses from the economic impact of the pandemic.

Overall, he has acted at impressive scale and pace. However, the Committee has identified well over a million people who - through no fault of their own - have lost livelihoods while being locked down and locked out of the main support programmes.

If it is to be fair and completely fulfil its promise of doing whatever it takes, the Government should urgently enact our recommendations to help those who have fallen through the gaps.’

For more information, see Government must act over gaps in support during lockdown from parliament.uk