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Sadiq Khan lashes out at Sunak saying financial support plan discriminates against London

In a letter to chancellor Rishi Sunak and business secretary Alok Sharma, Mr Khan warns that up to 290,000 Londoners, amounting to 12 percent of the workforce, are not eligible under the scheme. The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme claims to give a cash grant equating to 80 percent of profits, up to £2,500 per month.

Crucially, the scheme excludes people with annual profits of £50,000 or more; people who became self-employed after the end of the 2018-2019 financial year or those who earn less than half of their income from self-employed work.

Mr Khan has criticised the £50,000 cap, saying it does not account for the high cost of living in London – the most expensive city in Europe.

He has proposed a new “sliding scale of support” to buffer lost earnings for those exceeding that amount.

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He is also pushing for those who earn less than half their pay from insecure work and the newly self-employed to be included.

Mr Khan said: “Families in London with a household income of just over the £50,000 threshold will struggle without access to support.

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Londoners are ‘neglected’ in government support but the city is a hotbed for the virus (Image: Getty)

Sadiq Khan says Londoners need more economic support (Image: Getty)

“We estimate that over 100,000 Londoners have become self-employed within the last 12 months.

“This includes new graduates and new entrants to various sectors.”

The first payments are expected in June and will be paid in a single lump sum.

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But many say that even with the Government’s support, outgoings are so high it will not be enough.

Junior Stewart, 45, from Luton, said he doesn’t qualify for emergency government assistance and doesn’t know how his family will survive.

To complicate matters further, his wife had a baby boy in February and is only receiving maternity salary.

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Londoners broke social distancing measures over Easter (Image: Getty)

He said: “I’ve applied for universal credit, I got a mortgage holiday, I am applying for a council tax deferral, but it won’t be enough.

“The five of us are on the bare minimum, I don’t know how we’ll get by.”

Hundreds of thousands of job losses could see the unemployment rate rocket from 3.9 percent to around 8 percent – similar to the cuts that unfolded after the financial crisis.

During the first month of the crisis, employment has fallen by around 1.5 to two million, according to the Institute for Employment Studies (IES).

In 2010, 2.5 million people lost their work.

Mr Sunak warned that during his Budget last month the UK risks falling into a recession as a result of disruption caused by coronavirus, allocating £14 billion from the coronavirus emergency response fund into the NHS and local authorities.

Rishi Sunak has warned the UK risks falling into a recession (Image: PA)

The lengthy lockdown measures that have forced citizens to be homebound for up to five weeks so far and curtailing business activity has been a major to blow to livelihoods causing economists to forecast a deep recession.

Speaking at today’s press conference, Dominic Raab, has said it is “far too early” to discuss relaxing COVID-19 lockdown measures despite “positive signs” from data.

Though the UK is still not past the peak, he said figures show the UK is “starting to win this struggle”.

Praising British citizens for staying home during the sunny Easter bank holiday weekend, he said: “Our plan is working. “Please stick with it and we’ll get through this crisis together.”

A spokesman for prime minister Boris Johnson said the UK is still on target to carry out 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of the month- despite only conducting 18,000 in the 24 hours leading into Sunday morning.

Of the tests, 2,630 were of NHS staff who were swabbed at drive-through sites.

Nearly 4,000 staff and their families have been tested so far prompting the government to say “significant progress” had been made.

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