Weekly Column - 31st March 2020

Last week, the Government announced a range of extensive and unprecedented measures to help fight the coronavirus outbreak.

The Government continues to follow the scientific advice closely, introducing measures as and when they will be most effective.

The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

You should not leave the house unless you are: travelling to and from work (only where this absolutely cannot be done from home); shopping for basic necessities (as infrequently as possible); getting one form of exercise a day (alone or with members of your immediate household) or for any medical need or to provide care or help to a vulnerable person. For those in need of help as well as those who would like to volunteer, please register at www.corona-helpers.co.uk.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone working in our NHS, our GPs, social care workers, teachers, police officers, firefighters, (DWP - Job Centre Plus), bin collectors and all those who have volunteered locally to help those in isolation.

Our community is rising to the challenge and thank you also to the councils who are doing a brilliant job in co-ordinating help at a local level.

I know many people are deeply worried about the impact the virus will have on their jobs and their ability to provide for their families.

The Government has recently introduced a raft of measures to support workers and businesses; helping pay people’s wages through the ‘Job Retention Scheme’, and a new system for the self-employed where they will be paid a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month. Further information can be found online at gov.uk or through the Heart of the South West Growth Hub.

The latest updates regarding support for businesses, workers, families and the most vulnerable can also be found in a dedicated section on my website.

I am in constant touch with the network of people working across the constituency, feeding in and highlighting their issues and concerns directly to Government to ensure we are doing the best for everyone.

Please do get in touch if you need to - Rebecca.pow.mp@parliament.uk / 01823 443 062