This includes a wide variety of people, including those who changed their jobs before the lockdown, started a new business in the last three years, or agency workers who have not been able to qualify for furlough. With three million affected nationwide this means there could be as many as 11,670 people in Plymouth in similar situations. On the call they described themselves as feeling “invisible” and one person described the financial consequences of not being eligible for support when he said he was unable to afford £5 for their home electric meter.
Luke Pollard MP said:
“Since the beginning of the Coronavirus Pandemic, my office has been inundated with requests for help from people all over Plymouth who have been struggling financially because they have been excluded from Government support through no fault of their own. Far too many people in Plymouth have fallen through the cracks.
“I was pleased Ministers listened to calls from MPs and businesses to introduce the furlough scheme and after lobbying the self-employed scheme, but far too many people found out they were ineligible for this support through no fault of their own.
“The Chancellor said he wouldn’t pick winners and losers during this crisis, but by refusing to make simple, amendments to plug the gaps in his schemes he’s done just that.
“One person left behind during this pandemic is one too many. As the virus restrictions continue to ease slowly, and the cliff-edge of the Coronavirus support being withdrawn draws closer the window of opportunity to help those who have been denied support so far reduces every day. That is why I want to see support for these people, many of whom represent the creative and entrepreneurial spark that drive cities like Plymouth.”