World News

The millions of ‘humiliated’ workers left in financial crisis by the coronavirus pandemic

Workers left with almost no money who are relying on handouts due to the pandemic have begged for help from the Government.

Around three million people are facing financial crisis because they cannot access government help.

Support measures such as the Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, along with benefits such as Universal Credit, have been introduced to help workers whose livelihoods have been affected by restrictions.

But the support does not cover some people, including the newly employed, the newly self-employed, freelancers, directors of limited companies paid in dividends, and the self-employed with annual profits of more than £50,000.

Now tearful workers have begged ministers for help for the millions of Britons who have “fallen through the cracks”.

They say they are having to survive the pandemic without financial support from the Government.

Six people excluded from Government schemes to help with a loss of income spoke at an online event attended by the mayors of London, Liverpool and Manchester.

Ex-teacher Paul Milham, a hypnotherapist, told the event by lobbying group ExcludedUK, that his firm had been “on fire” until the pandemic wrecked it within two days.

He is now being “bailed out” by his parents.

He said: “I hate being here with my begging bowl, but we need some help.

“This is humiliating, it’s degrading to be here in front of people with this story.”

Melody Schroeder, who worked to teach compassion and empathy skills in the NHS, police and Armed Forces, said her livelihood vanished within days of the start of the March lockdown.

Breaking down in tears, she said: “I worked so hard, I’m just really heartbroken, I feel beyond devastated.”

Lindsey Beagle, who ran a successful catering firm in Buckinghamshire, has had to furlough staff and rack up £70,000 of debt as her company faces collapse.

She said: “Your mental health… you just start to think really, really dark things. When you work so hard for everything you’ve got and you employ people and you put so much back in, you do feel really disappointed.”

The event heard that jobs, homes, businesses, marriages and lives are “hanging in the balance”.

In addition, a mental health pandemic is predicted for people struggling to survive for eight months with no money.

Zoe Attridge, 39, a freelance stage manager, said she has received just £612 since March to support herself, her husband and their 21-month-old son.

The family are now selling their home in London and moving elsewhere.

Judi Heppell, 60, a translator, said she has been left “scratching around” for work.

And despite borrowing money from her parents, who are in their 80s, she says she is “terrified” of getting into debt for the first time in her life.

The mayors addressed at the event – Sadiq Khan, Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham – are urging Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help the “excluded” who are not eligible for financial help, estimated by the National Audit Office to total 2.9 million workers.

They have written an open letter to the Chancellor to plug the “gaps” for those who do not qualify for financial help.

Mr Burnham said the Government is punishing “life’s doers” who had taken risks and set up their own businesses.

Mr Khan added: “We can see the people behind the numbers.

“It’s inexplicable why you have been excluded. You are the wealth creators, you guys have never asked for hand out, let alone a helping hand.

“And your dignity has been challenged in a way that is difficult to fathom.”

He said government support in Germany and France “far exceeds” that in the UK.

According to yourmoney, those excluded from help include

  • The newly self-employed and new businesses
  • The self-employed with profits above £50,000
  • Workers in less than 50 per cent self-employment
  • New parents on parental leave
  • Workers on PAYE freelance short-term contracts
  • Low investment start-ups
  • Small limited company owner-directors

After criticism in the Commons on the lack of help for the self-employed, Boris Johnson said: “Unquestionably this pandemic has been hard on the people of this country and unquestionably there are people who have suffered throughout the pandemic and livelihoods have suffered.

“But we have done everything that we possibly can to help and as for the self-employed, 2.6 million of them have received support and across £13bn.

“We have also uprated Universal Credit that will continue until next year.”

...

ALSO READ  Tens of thousands in China receiving experimental COVID-19 vaccines
Tags

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close