“At a time like this we need to urgently come together to protect each other, no matter what it takes, but for those at greater risk and those who are already financially insecure we need to start moving mountains – and fast.”Rebecca Long Bailey MP.
We are in an unprecedented situation. The coronavirus is going to put an incredible strain on people, businesses and services. We need a response commensurate to that challenge. As a starting minimum, we need:
- An immediate increase in statutory sick pay, which lags behind European countries.
- Extending statutory sick pay to all workers including those in self-employment.
- Boost resources to HMRC and JobCentre Plus to deal with immediate claims.
- Support for Local Authorities and funding for food banks. Many low paid workers rely on food banks, which are experiencing a drop in donations and will see a decline in volunteers due to self-isolation.
- Emergency measures on debt and essential payments. Those sick and self-isolating stand to lose hundreds of pounds in pay and run the risk of not being able to meet the cost of essential payments for mortgages, rent, increased utility bills and other debts.
- An increase in the rate of Universal Credit and an end to the 5 week wait – people who find themselves losing work will not get sick pay.
- A right to work from home for those with underlying health conditions.
- Requisitioning premises for additional medical facilities necessary to deal with the outbreak.
- Matching the commitment to ‘whatever extra resources our NHS needs’ to social care.
- Commitment from government to daily broadcast media briefings to keep everyone informed.
- Pushing for international co-operation on all elements of the response, including the development of a free global vaccine, at the G7 tomorrow.
- Using every lever of government to direct the production of ventilators by UK manufacturers.
- The above is reproduced from Rebecca’s email to members today.