Wed 18 Mar, 2020

This crisis is unprecedented and requires more than business loans. It requires the bold decisive leadership of state intervention Patrick Harvie

Emergency legislation announced by the UK Government to address the impact of the coronavirus does not go far enough to protect those who could lose their job and home, the Scottish Greens have said.

Commenting, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “This emergency legislation is quite rightly the product of cross-party working at Westminster, and contains essential measures to increase the capacity of the NHS to deal with this crisis. The Scottish Parliament will scrutinise it as quickly and carefully as possible.

“However, it clearly lacks the emergency measures I was looking for, which are needed to protect those who are facing destitution as a result of the country shutting down.

“Ireland is providing a basic income to self-employed people, France is suspending rents and energy bills and Sweden has guaranteed 90 per cent of people’s pay. The UK’s response fails to match this kind of action. We should be guaranteeing people’s basic income and that there will be no evictions as a result of this epidemic.

“This crisis is unprecedented and requires more than business loans. It requires the bold decisive leadership of state intervention.”

Statutory sick pay in Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria is all well over £200 a week. In the UK it is £94.

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