On Wednesday 25th March, Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, spoke at the Opposition Day debate in Parliament calling for more support for self-employed individuals and charities.
Voluntary groups and charities such as the Southend Scouts, HARP, the Music Man Project and Growing Together are doing brilliant work to help those who are particularly vulnerable at the moment – be it the elderly, those with mental wellbeing issues or rough sleepers. Sir David praised the work these charities, and others, are doing in his speech in Parliament. He recognised the important work that charities do year-round, but especially now to help fight the Coronavirus pandemic and support local communities.
However, there are problems for charities that need to be addressed - namely financial ones as many will struggle to keep afloat without Government help. The same goes for self-employed individuals who deserve fair financial support. Many MPs have been calling for Rishi Sunak to come up with a support package for the self-employed.
The Rt Hon. Steve Barclay MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said on Tuesday that “We know that many self-employed people are in real distress, but we are working urgently to address this problem, and I say to the self-employed: we have not forgotten you—help is coming” and “The Chancellor will provide a further update on support for the self-employed in the coming days”.
Sir David also praised the local Southend residents for coming together in these difficult times, and Southend Council for setting up a Coronavirus action group which works with local charities to provide effective responses.
Sir David said “The risk of running a business is a huge one in itself, and when someone is self-employed and might not have put the money aside for their pension or all those other things, it is even more challenging. My hon. Friend the Minister was wonderful in what he did to help on caravans and motorhomes, which is only a drop in the ocean compared with what we are dealing with now, and I know that he and his team must be working on this problem”.
To finish, Sir David concluded with “we, of all nations, know more than most that by working together and supporting each other we will get through this national crisis”.