FROM A FELLOW ARTIST :
FROM A FELLOW ARTIST : For those of you that are not aware, there is a website petition requesting the government to provide help for the self employed. Goggle self employed petition and you will find it. When completing the petition it suggest you contact your local MP. I did this on Tuesday and today received a very helpful reply, See below:- Dear Layla, My wife and I have signed the petition requesting statutory sick pay be paid for self employed people during Corona Virus. Both my wife and myself are full time entertainers, given the government advice today we are expecting our income to totally cease, until it is recommended people can safely meet again. We have no idea whether we will be able to claim any benefit during the time we cannot work. Layla Moran- REPLIED Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Oxford West and Abingdon Whilst the Government has made some important changes to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to enable more people to claim it, the self-employed are still unable to claim, despite calls from many people including myself for that to change. People who work in entertainment, such as yourselves, and hospitality are particularly affected by this. You may be able to apply for Universal Credit. If you are affected by coronavirus you will be able to apply for Universal Credit and can receive up to a month’s advance upfront without physically attending a job centre. I would highly recommend calling and explaining your situation. For more information on this and to apply, please use the following link: https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/ I completely understand your frustration, and I support calls for SSP to be extended to the self-employed. On 3rd March, I wrote to the Work and Pensions Secretary calling for just that, arguing that ‘The self-employed need this Government’s support, and extending statutory sick pay to them would help to prevent what is a looming crisis, if the COVID-19 situation continues to escalate.’ You can read my letter here: http://www.laylamoran.com/layla_moran_s_letters_to_government_ministers_on_covid_19 I will continue to lobby the Government for these reforms to come into place, in particular because I continue to be concerned that the average 5-week wait for Universal Credit payments is a significant problem, even with a month’s upfront payment being made available to many. Would you be happy to pass on your comments to the Government directly?