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'The Chancellor won't meet me over 3 million excluded,' says Anneliese Dodds
12 February 2021, 14:10
Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds says Rishi Sunak has "not been willing" to meet her to discuss the three million people who have been excluded from financial help since March.
As England's third national lockdown began, the three million people who have been excluded from Government support found they were still ineligible to receive aid in the Chancellor's new package.
Ms Dodds made the revelation while on LBC to discuss how the UK's economy shrank by a record 9.9% last year according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
Speaking to LBC's James O'Brien about the three million excluded, Mrs Dodds said: "I've found it frustrating because I have raised this many many times directly with the Chancellor, as well other issues..."
She added: "I have asked the Chancellor to meet with me to discuss those issues and he has not been willing to meet with me, so I do find that frustrating."
The Shadow Chancellor also told James: "I've been on LBC a number of times before talking about the situation particularly for self-employed people and the fact that we've had exactly the same schemes continuing over time without the real gaps in coverage being dealt with.
"They could have been made more targeted. We've called for that for many months and it really needs to happen."
LBC has raised the issue of the excluded repeatedly over the pandemic, with Nick Ferrari in November putting to the Chancellor a statement from ExcludedUK founder Anneka Hicks that some "abandoned" by the Government have taken their own lives.
After hearing her tearful explanation on how those without financial aid are affected, the Chancellor responded: "I respectfully disagree with the fact that 3m people can't access help."
The chancellor said the "majority self employed" in that group will have benefited from furlough.
Mr Sunak said: "What we've spent is more than anyone else has internationally. The scale of what we have put in place is extraordinarily comprehensive and generous by any international measure."