Supporting workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

It was truly moving to hear clapping and cheering for NHS staff last Thursday evening, I think that moment demonstrated our determination to get through the COVID-19 crisis together.

At this time I also wish to pay tribute to those working to ensure the most vulnerable in our town are not left behind. Staff at Crawley Borough and West Sussex County councils, Sussex Police, the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service and central Government, in addition to all of those who are volunteering to help – your work is greatly appreciated.

The Government have committed to provide any extra resources needed by the NHS and other public services – starting with an initial £5 billion fund so the NHS can treat Coronavirus patients and local authorities can support vulnerable people, plus ensure funding is available for other public services.

I am continuing to highlight with the Government issues being raised with me by Crawley residents, workers and businesses, in addition to continued discussions with Crawley Borough Council about the Community Hub which was established last week.

Following the announcement of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Government have now announced a package of measures for those who are self-employed.

Through the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, the Government will pay self-employed people a grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month.

The Government have been working with the Federation of Small Businesses, the Association of Independent Professionals & the Self-Employed, and the Trades Union Congress to ensure the response is right.

This is, of course, an incredibly fast-moving situation. Links to the latest NHS information and a rolling feed from HM Government are available on my website: This page also advises how you can sign up to receive the latest updates about action being taken to support people at this time.

Henry Smith MP