Last week the Chancellor announced a new financial package to help the self-employed throughout this difficult time. There are over 6,000 self-employed people in my constituency who will now be able to claim 80% of their annual profits calculated over the past three years tax returns which puts them on parity with the current package for PAYE employees. This is unprecedented and will help protect jobs not just in Ashfield but throughout the country and demonstrates our commitment to get the whole country through these challenging times. When this is all over, we need to make sure our people have the jobs and income they need to get back to normal as quickly as possible, this latest package will go a long way to ensuring this.
I want to pay tribute to everyone who has carried on working over the past few weeks. It is not easy when all the advice is to stay at home to save lives and protect our NHS but we need our brilliant NHS staff more than ever. Our NHS staff cannot function properly if there is no transport, supermarkets open, petrol stations open, garages to mend their cars open, food delivery drivers, staff in power stations, water workers, bus drivers, train drivers, council workers, emergency service workers, school teachers and the list goes on and on. As workers we all rely on someone else doing another job to make sure we can do ours. My inbox is full of people telling me that they want to carry on working to help keep the country going which makes me feel immensely proud as does the fact that hundreds of thousands of people have signed up to the NHS volunteer scheme. This is a national effort and we must all play our part whether that’s doing our daily job, looking after a loved one, volunteering to help others or simply just following Government advice and staying at home.
Most of the people of Ashfield and Eastwood have really stepped up during our hour of need but there is still a tiny majority who think the rules do not apply to them. I have had reports of pubs opening their back doors for “lock ins”. I have reported these establishments to the police and make no bones about it if anyone of these pubs are guilty then I will name and shame in this column. We all have our part to play and ignoring these rules is selfish, thoughtless and just dangerous.
Last weekend we began delivering food parcels to some of the 1.5 million people who are extremely vulnerable to Coronavirus. We promised that whilst you are home, you would not be alone and if you have a medical condition identified as putting you at high risk then please contact me on email@example.com or call my office on 01623 550604.