Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, has been tasked with steering the country through the pandemic over the last 11 months. Today, he made a statement in the House, which he referred to as a “roadmap” out of the lockdown measures currently in place across the whole of the United Kingdom. With millions of people currently feeling the continuing impact of COVID-19, one area of particular concern is Government support measures, providing valuable aid to those who need it most.
Since the start of the pandemic, millions of people have been in receipt of schemes such as furlough and SEISS, which have provided financial assistance.
These schemes have offered a vital lifeline, but many are concerned they could come to an end in mere months.
Under the current schedule, by the summer, Government support schemes are set to draw to a close.
This includes the £20 uplift to Universal Credit, a topic which has resurfaced time and time again over the last few months.
“For the duration of the pandemic, we will continue to do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK.
“My Right Honourable Friend the Chancellor will set out further details on this in the Budget next Wednesday.”
However, the Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer, responded to the statement made by the Prime Minister, urging more action to be taken immediately.
He stated: “There is nothing stopping the Prime Minister from announcing an extension to furlough and self-employed support today.
“Businesses are crying out for that certainty and the Prime Minister should give it to them today.”
Sir Keir also called upon the Government to provide help to those who have been excluded from support schemes in the past.
He said the Prime Minister should “act now” to ensure millions of people are assisted during this time.
Mr Johnson, in his final response, went on to vow his Government’s support would continue in the coming months as lockdown measures are eased.
His promise may alleviate some of the concerns expressed about the end of support measures.
The Prime Minister concluded: “We will continue to put our arms around businesses and livelihoods, as we have done throughout the pandemic.
“The Chancellor who has been extremely creative in this respect, will be laying out his plans next week in the Budget.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget is set to take place on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, where it is expected he will lay out a wide range of financial plans and support measures to assist people during COVID-19.