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Budget fails workers in coronavirus self-isolation

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11 Mar 2020
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GMB, Britain’s general union, says there is ‘nowhere near enough’ in today’s budget to help workers forced to self-isolate due to COVID-19.

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Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:

“There’s nowhere near enough in the the budget to help working people who have to self-isolate - the Government can dress it up however they want. 

“Statutory sick pay is £18 per day, no one can live on that, and that’s what the government seem to expect the 20% of the population who may have to self-isolate to do. If it’s possible, let’s see Ministers do it. 

“Coronavirus has highlighted the abysmal state of sick pay in this country. This Budget was an opportunity for the Government to right a wrong, but typically they’ve completely ignored it.”

Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary, said:

“The Chancellor today claimed our public services are prepared for coronavirus which will be surprising news to many of our members working in those services.

After a decade of Tory cuts our public services are underfunded, understaffed and badly stretched before we consider the huge demands to come.

When he became Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed on the steps of Downing Street that he would ‘fix the crisis in social care once and 'with a clear plan'. Yet his own Chancellor barely even mentioned social care in the his Budget.

It beggars belief that ministers think they can meet the challenge of an epidemic like coronavirus -which older people and those with health conditions are most vulnerable to – without fully funding social care in this country. The Tories either don’t know what to do with social care or they don’t care - either way this is scandalous neglect.”

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