25 October 2020
So far in 2020 over £35bn has been handed out mainly direct to employers to furlough their employees during the Covid-19 crisis. The furlough scheme cobbled together in a hurry has been open to serious fraud and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has estimated 10% of the money handed out was fraudulently claimed.
The next stage of support for workers who are in industries where it is impossible for workers to participate in gainful employment is the Job Support scheme.
The six month government scheme is complicated and requires the employer to cover pension contributions and national insurance contributions in full. Also it is not a long term solution to the economic chaos facing us.
There is a much better way of providing a living income to all. It is called a universal basic income scheme. Had this been operating across the country there would have been less need to pour badly directed money into the economy so workers still had the ability to pay their daily living expenses.
Spokesperson John Spottiswoode revealed,
"The Green Party had costed a universal basic income at around £75bn per annum only a year ago. A basic income is intended to replace many of the current universal credit components that cost a similar amount in total and gives flexibility to work a bit or a lot, or even not at all without paying to keep workers tied to their current employer who may never take them back."
"The Government has failed many who have endured long gaps without income, typically six weeks before payments arrive in a claimant’s bank account. The delays in payment have forced claimants to use food banks which rely on the good nature of communities to provide life saving groceries. A universal basic income scheme would be simpler, quicker and more effective."
"Most importantly a universal basic income guarantees anyone some money should they have to self isolate. Financial security is important in encouraging people to do the right thing during future restrictions and lockdowns."
1/Between March, when the lockdown began, and September, the number of people claiming benefits for being out of work or on very low incomes rose 120% to 2.7 million.