My Question during the Urgent Question on Lockdown: Economic Support, 3 November 2020

Sir John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): I am glad that the Government agree that where, by law, they stop people working and earning a living, they should compensate them.

Will the Government look again at the terms of the scheme for the self-employed—there are restrictions on several categories of self-employed who have no other means of earning their living and no large company support—and be more generous?

Does my right hon. Friend agree that we need all those self-employed people to be ready to return to work to get some kind of recovery going soon, because the economy is in deep trouble?

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Mr Steve Barclay): I agree with my right hon. Friend that we need to ensure that the economy is able to bounce back quickly. That is why we have provided over £13 billion of support to the self-employed, which by international comparisons—I know my right hon. Friend looks at international comparisons—he will see is extremely generous.

I have set out previously in the House part of the operational difficulties, for example with owner-directors in terms of what is dividend income and what is not.

The point is that we have set out a generous self-employment income support scheme, but we need to deliver that operationally in a way that meets the tests set by, for example, the Public Accounts Committee, which has asked whether we have the right level of controls in place, given the speed at which these schemes were deployed.


  1. agricola
    November 4, 2020

    Barclays answer was the usual political smoke screen. HMRC know who is self employed and who is not. Government risk destroying the enterprising while continuing to pay all civil servants and politicians full wack. I will believe ministers when CS and politician’s salaries are chopped to 80% of what they earn as an indication that this crisis affects all.

    1. Hope
      November 4, 2020

      I thought Sammi Wilson Map comparing Johnson to Lord Halifax was a stinging rebuke of his stupidity. Probably lost on wibbly wobbly.

      1. Hope
        November 4, 2020

        JR, suggest you and other MPs read article in Con Woman about fiddled death figures and those who test positive in Hospitals. Clearly fiddling going on. Why? Is it left wing NHS leadership undermining Govt.? Or does it go up to meglamaniac Hancock?

    2. Martin in Cardiff
      November 4, 2020

      It’s comical, that the cash-in-hand tax-dodgers will only be entitled to compensation based on their declared incomes.

  2. Fred H
    November 4, 2020

    Q: ‘Does my right hon. Friend agree that we need all those self-employed people to be ready to return to work’?

    A: nothing to be seen here, move on!

  3. DavidJ
    November 4, 2020

    As we might expect bluster with no proper response from government. We need more MPs like yourself prepared to act on behalf of the electorate rather than meekly submit.

    I have no confidence in their supporting the native people of this country rather than those who are acting against us such as the UN with its various Agendas.

  4. John halom
    November 4, 2020

    Quite clearly the government and parliament do not want the economy to bounce back quickly or they wouldn’t be using out of date or plain faked statistics to force imprison the country.

    1. Lifelogic
      November 4, 2020

      This rather does seem to be the case. It is clearly project fear and clear exaggeraged nonsense. Rather like Climate Alarmism.

      A rapid recovery and bounce back just requires cheap energy, cacellation of HS2, a much reduced state sector, a bonfire or red tape, easy hire and fire, lower simpler taxes, relaxed planning, real freedom and choice in health care, broadcasting, education, energy ….. Cut all the soft education loans other than for sensible degrees (about 30% of them) too.

      1. Hope
        November 4, 2020

        I think JH might have a point.

        I wonder if there is a left wing NHS leadership fiddling the figures, which is beyond doubt for deaths and cases, to undermine the govt.? Simon Stevens must go. Was he a Blaire appointment?

    2. BW
      November 4, 2020

      How can you possibly say that the government does not want the economy to bounce back. An utterly ridiculous statement. why don’t you think before you type.

      1. Lifelogic
        November 4, 2020

        Well all their policies and project fear rather suggest they do not.

        You have to judge politicians by their actions – as these (almost invaribly) have very little in common whith what they say or promise to do.

      2. Everhopeful
        November 4, 2020

        Not ridiculous.
        Look at what govt. is doing.

      3. Bill B.
        November 4, 2020

        Perfectly sensible observation from John H. based on what the government are actually doing to the economy. Don’t listen to their words, watch their actions.

        Some in government, such as 4th Industrial Revolution (GP-At Hand) spokesman M. Hancock, do not want the old pre-Reset economy to ‘recover’. Otherwise there wouldn’t have to be a Reset.

      4. Sea_Warrior
        November 5, 2020

        I think that the government DOES want the economy to bounce back. But this second lockdown will ensure that a large number won’t survive. A return to tiered ‘Whack a Mole’ can’t come quickly enough.

  5. gyges
    November 4, 2020

    I know two scientists who could contribute to the current testing regime but refuse to do so on ethical grounds. They tell me that because of the lack of validation of the test it would be deceitful to inflict it on anyone. (I thought I was the only one that felt that way).

  6. Lynn Atkinson
    November 4, 2020

    If there is a deadly infectious disease, there must be a lockdown which by definition is 100%. Why close 25% of the economy? It’s simply vindictive and self-destructive, but maybe the state don’t understand who pays their wages?

  7. BillM
    November 4, 2020

    As is the norm, the reply was merely again talking a lot but not saying very much.
    SJR asked for new measures of compensation, the Minister reheated the old ones now in place but suggested they were already satisfactory and that the Governments plan of one size fits all is working well.
    Same ol’ same ‘ol rhubarb from the dispatch box and the Government still does not understand us from the back streets of Britain.
    We just want plain talk and plain answers to simple questions – just like they are in Court. You’ll not get much respect until you do just that, Minister!

  8. Fred H
    November 4, 2020

    Lockdown debate.
    Sir Edward Leigh: – – The PM promised him that churches would re-open on Dec 2nd, so he will agree to the lockdown. So all the rest of the arguments, for and against, disappear on a promise that might be kept for a few thousand needing to pray in a specific building.
    And that gentlemen and ladies is from a Knight and MP.
    Tearing hair out time – but you won’t find a hairdreser to sort the barnet out afterwards.

    1. Martin in Cardiff
      November 4, 2020

      Keep ’em coming, Fred.

  9. Richard416
    November 4, 2020

    I would like to thank Sir John and all the MPs who spoke and voted in favour of civil liberties and against coercion.

    1. Everhopeful
      November 4, 2020

      They were the only ones actually doing their jobs.

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      November 4, 2020

      +1. I am shocked that so many MPs are so witless, can’t evaluate the evidence.

  10. No Longer Anonymous
    November 4, 2020

    Jacob Rees-Mogg says that “Lock down strikes at the heart of Conservatism but we must do it anyway to defeat CV19.” To that effect.

    Why so many other policies that strike at the heart of Conservatism and have nothing to do with stopping CV19 ?

    Shall we just ditch Parliament altogether, ditch the Tory party and the PM and put Whitty, Vallance and SAGE in charge of everything ?

  11. Fred H
    November 4, 2020

    So much nonsense talked about hospital beds. 30 years ago UK had 300,000 beds – now down by half to 150,000. Approx 10,000 Covid cases in hospital daily count – some arrive, some leave. Compare 10,000 to 150,000. Overwhelmed?

  12. Everhopeful
    November 4, 2020

    Surely by now it is totally apparent to all that this is not about a virus.
    Nobody would do this for a virus.
    Nobody ever did!

  13. gregory martin
    November 4, 2020

    I do not understand the problem that HMRC find they have in respect of self employed people. Those self employed are taxed each year on that revenue that exceeds the neccessary provision of deductable inputs into their business. In this year, where revenue is reduced, the taxation should be based on the composite of revenue from last year and this year less the composite of necessary inputs from these two years, with return of tax already (pre-)paid ( last year) .Subsequent years can be compounded , the inputs necessary, already defined, will be proportionate to activity. Any further support should be based upon Universal Credit. If the trading entity has limited liability, then taxation should be based upon the director being taxable through PAYE as an employee, with applicable taxation on dividend income through investment as if interest received.
    Happy to receive contradiction.

  14. DaveM
    November 5, 2020

    I never thought I’d say this but I liked what Theresa May said yesterday. Funny though, how whenever ex-PMs like her or Blair or Major say something in favour of the EU or against the government it’s headline news on the BBC, yet she didn’t get a mention this time.

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