Andy Burnham warns of 'mental health crisis' for those excluded from Covid financial support

5 January 2021, 14:29

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Government needs to provide help for the three million excluded from financial support - it is "basic fairness and humanity," says Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

After Chancellor Rishi Sunak accounted businesses are set to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000 as part of a £4.6 billion support package for the third national coronavirus lockdown, LBC spoke with Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.

Earlier the chancellor promised more funding to firms in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors this morning after Boris Johnson confirmed the country would be heading into another coronavirus lockdown on Monday.

Read more: Third national lockdown for England underway amid soaring Covid cases

Speaking to LBC's Shelagh Fogarty the Greater Manchester Mayor said he understands the situation the country is in, but he urged Boris Johnson to "pull together better as a country."

Citing the "three million taxpayers left out in the cold," Mr Burnham said there was no justification not to help the "excluded."

He was referring to the millions of self-employed people have been excluded from Treasury support since the Covid crisis began.

Read more: Dean Dunham's guide to England's Covid lockdown number 3

The Mayor said it was a basic issue of "fairness and humanity" before warning of the mental health toll this could have.

"We've just got to address this issue. It's an issue of basic fairness and humanity. How can they go into another year with no support?

"We will end up with a mental health crisis on top of a pandemic if this issue isn't addressed, and addressed quickly."

LIVE NEWS: Coronavirus lockdown - live updates with PM news conference due

The Government's Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, makes financial support available to eligible self-employed workers who have had their income affected by the coronavirus crisis.

However, a failure to meet eligibility criteria for a number of reasons has meant some have been unable to receive support through the grants.

In these circumstances, the government has urged these individuals to turn to other forms of support such as Universal Credit, but many have described the financial consequences as severe.