To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government is taking to prioritise covid-19 financial support for hard to reach communities.
11 March 2021
In response to the unparalleled economic shock created by COVID-19, the government quickly provided one of the most comprehensive and generous packages of economic support globally, adapting the help offered as the situation evolved. This has provided timely and targeted temporary support to individuals, families and businesses up and down the UK. At the Budget, the Chancellor announced an additional £65 billion of further measures to support the economy this year and next year, taking the total cumulative cost of the COVID-19 rescue package since the start of the pandemic to £352 billion.
The government has extended support for the lowest paid and most vulnerable. The temporary £20 uplift to Universal Credit will continue for a further six months. Working Tax Credit claimants will receive an equivalent of six months of support through a one-off £500 payment.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has now supported 11.2 million jobs across the UK, worth £53.8 billion, and has been extended until the end of September. At the Budget, the Chancellor also announced two further grants of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. Self-employed people who filed their 2019/20 tax returns by 2 March will be eligible for both grants, meaning that over 600,000 self-employed individuals may be newly eligible for the SEISS, including many new to self-employment.
Vaccines are the best way to protect people from coronavirus, and a new vaccine uptake plan was published on 13 February to boost vaccine uptake in all communities. The Department of Health and the NHS continue to work closely with Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, listening to the ideas of faith leaders and grassroots organisations, to ensure we can get vaccines to as many people as possible.