Blogs > John Glen Salisbury MP Diary > 25th March 2020

25th March 2020

25th March 2020

These are unprecedented times for our country and for the city of Salisbury. The scale of the disruption to our daily lives is unequalled in our lifetimes.

I sincerely regret that it was necessary for the government to enact emergency legislation ordering people to remain at home, except in specific circumstances.

The reason we have done this is simple – to slow the spread of coronavirus and thereby reduce the burden on our outstanding NHS professionals, so that as many lives as possible can be saved.

The impact of the shutdown is dramatic and immediate. I have been working very closely with The Chancellor in the Treasury to try to put in place effective support for all sections of the economy.

We have already announced a range of mechanisms – the job retention scheme to pay 80% of the salaries of workers in affected companies, loans to be allocated through local authorities, postponing VAT payments, rates relief and the establishment of business interruption loans of up to £5m, interest free and available through high street banks.

The most pressing challenge outstanding at the time of writing on Tuesday evening (March 24th) is to find an effective support package for the self-employed, freelancers and casual part timers, many of whom find themselves in a particularly vulnerable place.

The Treasury is wasting no time. We are not designing a perfect system but one that can be delivered reliably, rapidly and at scale for this valued but very diverse sector of the economy.

The best advice I can give anyone is to put the NHS first and follow the advice of the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Officer.

By reducing transmission of the disease, we will bring down the number of people who need NHS care at any one time and save lives.

Please stay at home and stay safe by limiting excursions to the absolute essentials and staying 2 metres apart from other people.

I am working flat out with my Salisbury team (in separate locations) to try and respond promptly and individually to hundreds of emails a day. Please forgive me where they are not as complete as I would like.

We will continue to work as hard as we can to get advice and help to those who need it and, in the meantime, all of you who are suffering as a result of this disease or joining the fight to beat it are in my prayers.

Posted by John Glen at 9:21am

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