As Parliament votes on measures that will put Sheffield into Tier 3 tomorrow, this morning I called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to ‘close the loophole’ in Parliament, and ensure that those who are excluded from Government support during the pandemic are given access to vital funds throughout the winter.
I told him about my constituent, who opened a new bar in the Summer in a previously thriving area, but she shut it on the 23rd October as we went into tier 3. She paid her workers for that week but she couldn’t get furlough support until the 1st November, because as a new business her staff weren’t eligible for registration with the previous scheme.
Now she is just one of many who the Chancellor will know have fallen through the gaps in his support scheme, so I asked him to recognise the problem, act to close the loopholes, and provide the support that is needed particularly in the hospitality sector and its supply chain.
Unfortunately, he barely listened to my question, let alone answered it. As we come out of a national lockdown, the new measures are vital for saving lives from this appalling virus, and protecting the NHS – but the Chancellor must provide commensurate support to those whose livelihoods are affected by the restrictions. This is particularly clear in bars, cafes and restaurants in places like Sheffield with vibrant hospitality sectors – we must see support for those excluded.