The Chancellor is not doing enough to help freelancers

Coronavirus: Employment Support
19 March 2020
Volume 673

Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) (Lab)
The Minister is a decent man, but there is a feeling across the Chamber that Treasury Ministers, and the Chancellor in particular, find it difficult to empathise with the situation that people find themselves in and do not speak human very well. I appeal to Ministers to show a bit more understanding of the predicament facing freelancers and the self-employed who have lost all their work, and perhaps take on board simple ideas, such as that of the right hon. Member for Tunbridge Wells (Greg Clark). Reverse the polarity—it usually works.

John Glen
I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman wishes to criticise the tone of my response. I am clear that this is an unprecedented crisis. The Government have made a series of announcements, and will be making further announcements. A range of sensible suggestions have been made, many of which we are already examining urgently.

In response to specific questions about technical matters, I have had to use quite complex and unfamiliar constructions. If I did not do that, I would not be answering the question. If I used too many soundbites, I would be criticised in another way. We will do everything we can to take on board the questions that have been raised today to come forward with a comprehensive package that all our constituents will see as effective.