Multi billion financial package to tackle unprecedented crisis.
The SNP has called for the UK government to introduce an immediate five-point plan to protect people’s incomes – ahead of a meeting with Boris Johnson in Downing Street.
Ahead of the meeting this morning (11.30am), Ian Blackford raised concerns that unemployment could go through the roof and poverty could soar – unless a wide-ranging multi-billion package is urgently introduced to save jobs and put cash in people’s pockets.
The SNP Westminster Leader said it is crucial that immediate action is taken, given the huge scale of the economic damage the COVID-19 crisis could cause – and is urging the UK government to immediately implement five key measures:
Ensure everyone has a guaranteed income – using the tax and welfare system to put thousands of pounds direct in people’s pockets through a Universal Basic Income, reverse National Insurance, or another mechanism.
Raise the UK’s Statutory Sick Pay rate to the EU national average – and expand entitlement, including for the self-employed and those under the earnings threshold.
Introduce a Statutory Retention Pay Scheme – covering at least 75% of employees’ salaries on a monthly basis (for 3 months), with companies paying the remaining amount.
Provide a lifeline to the hospitality sector – with a Statutory Retention Pay Scheme covering 100% of hospitality sector employees’ salaries on a monthly basis (for 3 months)
Deliver an immediate increase to Universal Credit and Child Benefit – increasing the Universal Credit monthly allowance to £100 per week, and issuing automatic grants on day one of application, not hardship loans.
Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP (pictured) said:
“There is now a very real risk that the UK is heading for a devastating economic crisis, which could see unemployment go through the roof and levels of poverty soar.
“It is absolutely imperative that the UK government takes immediate action by introducing a wide-ranging multi-billion financial package for people today – to save jobs and protect incomes.
“The SNP has put forward a five-point plan, which would put cash in people’s pockets now by introducing a guaranteed income for everyone, increasing Statutory Sick Pay, raising Universal Credit and Child Benefit payments, and providing support for businesses to prevent redundancies.
“The scale of the UK government’s response must meet the unprecedented nature of this emergency.
“Thousands of people are already losing their jobs and livelihoods. Millions face the same threat.
“The UK government must deliver the immediate support that is needed without further delay.
“The SNP will continue to press for support for all our people.
“We must do whatever it takes to ensure everyone has a guaranteed income and no one is left struggling to support their families, pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads.”