Coronavirus: Finance expert absolutely slams PM's "halfhearted" attitude

19 March 2020, 20:49 | Updated: 19 March 2020, 20:50

By Fiona Jones

This is the moment a financial expert slammed the Prime Minister's "half-hearted" attitude and lack of support for the "terrified" self-employed.

Claer Barrett said that the financial help after school closures for parents "better come" as she has been inundated with messages who are "absolutely terrified that they are losing their livelihoods."

"These are people who have really helped the British economy," Ms Barrett said, "entrepreneurs who have had a brilliant idea...maybe gone without years of being paid to get their business off the ground and created jobs that pay tax and create value for the economy, and they feel like they've been totally abandoned."

She said there were so many self-employed people phoning in today talking about their desperate situation that they're facing. She pointed out that every day jobs are being lost.

"We need Rishi Sunak to come up with something big tomorrow to give us all hope," said Claer Barrett
"We need Rishi Sunak to come up with something big tomorrow to give us all hope," said Claer Barrett. Picture: PA/LBC

"Mr Johnson's standing there with his half-hearted way, 'oh stand by your employees and we will stand by you', well where are the details, Boris? We need to have action."

"If we look at what some of the other countries are doing compared to Britain, we look really peevish," Ms Barrett said, including France which has seen President Macron announce he will spend enough to make sure no company of any size will be allowed to go bankrupt.

Ms Barrett said helicopter money, which gives equal amounts of money to every adult, is an approach that the government could take. While it isn't perfect, she said, there "isn't time" for bureaucracy.

"We need Rishi Sunak to come up with something big tomorrow to give us all hope that small businesses and the self-employed can carry on."

A Downing Street spokesperson said: "Number 10 has made it clear that it would do everything it needs in order to respond to the crisis."

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