BRIDGING THE GAPS IN COVID-19 SUPPORT

8th April 2020

There are far too many people who are falling through the cracks in the system. The UK Government’s steps to protect incomes and welfare must be more robust and catch everyone to allow them to live with dignity.

SNP Key Asks:

🕒 Delays in receiving support. The five week wait for the first Universal Credit payment must be reduced through the UK government providing a non-repayable grant instead of a loan at the start of a claim, which pushes people into, or further into, debt.

💵 Gaps in support available. Given the gaps in the support available the UK government must introduce a Guaranteed Minimum Income. It must bridge the gaps in the Job Retention and Self-Employment Income Support schemes, including amending the date of qualification so people who started work after the 28th February will qualify, and ensuring businesses have access to financial resources – not Universal Credit – until they are reimbursed for salaries or the first payments in June. Gaps in social security must also be bridged, including removing the capital tariff reduction to Universal Credit and implementing support for those with No Recourse to Public Funds.

🧒 Insufficient level of support. Social security payments – including Child Benefit, Universal Credit and Employment Support Allowance (ESA) – must be increased.

👩‍⚕️ The rate of Statutory Sick Pay must also be increased in line with a Real Living Wage, and the weekly earnings threshold removed so that all workers can receive SSP irrespective of their weekly earnings or National Insurance contributions.

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