I have been bombarded with emails from people who are self-employed and understandably concerned about the financial support they can expect during this Coronavirus pandemic. Countries such as Norway, Denmark and Belgium have come up with schemes for the self-employed; so, I asked the Minister if he was looking at those international examples? Surely what works in those countries can work in the UK.
With over 330,000 self-employed workers in Scotland, working in areas such as the creative industries, agriculture, forestry, fishing, construction, and as taxi drivers. The Government must now be looking at increasing weekly sick pay from £94.25 to the equivalent of a week’s pay at the real living wage? They must consider removing the lower earnings limit for qualification for sick pay to ensure that everyone can access it? And, they must end the five-week wait for Universal Credit, so that the first payment is a grant—a real payment—and not a loan?