Christine Jardine, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, has today welcomed news that the BBC is stepping in to help freelances left without support for Government scheme, but described it as ludicrous that the UK Government is not doing anything to support then.
The BBC has confirmed it will pay, roughly 600 freelances, average earnings for March, April and May capped at £2,500 to around 600 freelancers who have not been eligible for any of the UK Government’s support schemes.
Ms Jardine, who is a member of the cross-party parliamentary group fighting for people who have been excluded from financial support schemes throughout the pandemic (ExcludedUK), remains concerned that the chancellor has failed to act and support those who have fallen through the gaps in existing schemes.
Christine Jardine commented:
“I have had welcome confirmation that the BBC scheme will cover a number of freelances across Scotland, including in my constituency.
“This is a responsible and empathetic decision by the BBC, but one that comes after months of struggling for many people.
“But unfortunately the scheme is unlikely to cover all of those freelances which are of immeasurable valuable to Scotland’s arts, broadcast and creative sector.
“The damage that has been inflicted on this group should not be underestimated.
“Too many people across Scotland have been abandoned with no income and no support throughout the pandemic.
“I hope the Chancellor is not now going to leave it to already struggling employers rather than accept responsibility to support those who have fallen through the gaps in existing schemes.”