New Covid restrictions: Carmichael calls for fresh thinking to support excluded workers

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has called for “fresh thinking” to support the three million workers left out of Covid-19 financial support to date. Speaking after fresh lockdowns were brought into place in Scotland and England, Mr Carmichael said that this should be an opportunity for support measures to be brought in for those who have been unable to access furlough, self-employment or other financial help introduced by the Government over the past year.

The isles MP has joined a letter from Liberal Democrat MPs calling on the Chancellor to extend furlough to June along with other business support schemes, and giving support to the three million excluded.

Mr Carmichael said:

“The Chancellor may not have been willing in the past months to consider measures to help those left out from financial support to date, but with another long lockdown ahead of us it is time for fresh thinking. The three million workers who have been excluded from support – including many in the isles – have not simply disappeared. If anything their need has only increased as we approach a full year since restrictions started.

“Even in the best-case scenarios we are looking at months before we return to anything approaching normal business conditions. Without help for the diverse and productive groups who have been left out of support so far, we risk long-term scarring to the economy – and a slower recovery for all.”

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