Unwell LBC caller with "no choice" but to work mentioned by Jeremy Corbyn in PMQs

25 March 2020, 14:49 | Updated: 25 March 2020, 14:58

By Fiona Jones

Jeremy Corbyn used this caller in PMQs as an example of unwell construction workers who have "no choice" but to go onto building sites because of financial strain.

"I'm having to go against my morals," said Dan, a construction worker who is still going into work, "I'm not well and should be in quarantine...but I'm on my way to work.

"I visit maybe 5 or 6 construction sites a day."

Dan said he knows he's wrong to do it but he has a two year old daughter, a mortgage and a wife and he's self-employed so has no other option.

"I feel so guilty but I've got no choice," he said, sharing with Nick that he lives week to week and cannot afford to take any time off, "I don't want to go to work feeling like this. My wife isn't well but I just want the government or whoever's listening to hear that actually I'm not going to be the only person doing this now."

Nick cited Norway's government who will compensate self-employed workers up to 80% of their salaries for lost earnings and asked whether the equivalent of £20,000 per annum would be enough; Dan said this wouldn't even cover half his salary and his outgoings are so significant.

"I've got quite a large mortgage...this is why I'm panicking, Nick," said Dan.

"You realise you could unwittingly be killing people," Nick said and Dan agreed his own actions were "disgusting" but when it comes down to human nature "you put yourself first."

Nick said he appreciated the financial motive for going to work, to support his family, but acknowledged Dan was going against government advice.

"Oh dear god, when will this government address the issue for the self-employed?" asked Nick.

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