Martin Lewis points out ‘glaring inconsistency’ with UK’s coronavirus support schemes

Martin Lewis points out ‘glaring inconsistency’ with UK’s coronavirus support schemes

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has addressed the nation in a pre-recorded speech which aired this evening. Giving an update on the UK lockdown, he said it was not the time to lift restrictions altogether. However, the Prime Minister then told the nation that “anyone who can’t work from home, for instance those in construction or manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work” – adding that they should avoid public transport “if at all possible”.

The Prime Minister announced the UK lockdown on March 23, with the population being directed to stay at home, except for specific reasons such as to buy food, for health reasons, or to only go to work if it’s not possible to work from home and it was essential.

The coronavirus outbreak has sadly seen more than 30,000 people die from COVID-19 in the UK.

It has had a financial impact too, with paycuts and job security fears a great concern for many.

Martin Lewis was among those reacting to the speech tonight, writing on Twitter as well as appearing on BBC Radio 5Live.

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The financial journalist was contacted by members of the public following the speech, including one person who asked a query relating to people potentially being asked to go back to work in May or June.

They asked whether, if this is the case, self employed people would still get a percentage of their earnings in June.

Mr Lewis replied: “This is a very big issue. We need more exact specifics first from #BorisJohnson on exactly who can go to work.

“Then we need the Chancellor to tell us how long support lasts. The fact furlough is on til June but Self Employed support ends in three weeks, is a glaring inconsistency.”

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It’s something which Mr Lewis commented on while speaking to Rick Edwards on BBC Radio 5Live this evening.

He said: “As for the guidance on jobs, if I’m sitting there on a furloughed job – well nothing’s changing now. Furlough’s lasting until the end of June anyway.

“I don’t see much change and I didn’t hear anything tonight that makes me think there will be any change.

“And certainly, for those who are self-employed, who are only getting three months’ money at the moment, they’ll be sitting there saying, ‘Well are you going to extend the money for us in June? Are we going to get the June cash that those who’ve been furloughed are gonna get?’ [We] still don’t have the details.

This is known as being “on furlough”.

Those who are furloughed can get 80 percent of their regular wages through the scheme, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.

Under the scheme, the employer will get a grant to cover 80 percent of the employee’s regular wages, up to the monthly cap.

Firms who are eligible for the grant from the date the furloughed employee ceased work, from 1 March.

Additionally, the employer can claim for a minimum of three consecutive weeks and for up to three months, however the government has said this may be extended.

Published at Sun, 10 May 2020 20:30:00 +0000