By Democrat reporter

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond, has called for those on low incomes and those who are self-employed to be properly supported during the huge economic uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is following a report published last week by the Fraser of Allander Institute on household finances has revealed that it will be the lowest earners and the self-employed that will bear the brunt of the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report highlighted that half of all people in poverty are in working households and two thirds of children in poverty live in a working household. Depending on the nature of the employment, these households could see falls in their income as a result of COVID-19 and social security is unlikely to entirely offset the full decrease in earnings.

Jackie Baillie said: “In any time of uncertainty, it is always those who are worst off who suffer the most and the current pandemic is no exception to that rule. It is vital that we ensure that families on low incomes, who may just have been laid off their work indefinitely, have all the support that they need to survive during this extraordinary period.

“The same goes for self-employed people. Their businesses are their livelihoods and they will be feeling lost and scared without them. Both the Scottish and UK Governments must do everything possible to provide long term support. And whilst the support for self-employed people is welcome, it must be in place sooner than June for it to be of help.

“I encourage anyone who feels that they are not coping in this difficult economic climate to take advantage of the help on offer. Scottish Welfare Fund crisis grants are available to those in need and can be applied for through your local authority and organisations such as Citizen’s Advice Bureaus are only too happy to help those in need of advice. Now more than ever must we pull together and support each other in any way that we can.”

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