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The Liberal Democrat response to coronavirus

March 19, 2020 12:00 PM
By Munira Wilson
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

parliamentIt is vital that we pull together as a country during this difficult period.

As the coronavirus crisis continues, people are understandably becoming increasingly worried.

This is likely to be a tough and frightening time for many people. It is vital we all take this incredibly seriously, follow the advice being given, and pull together as a country during this difficult period.

As a responsible opposition, we will continue to hold the Government to account on the measures they are taking.

The priority must be protecting the most vulnerable in our society, and a number of these most vulnerable live in care homes.

Given the fact that the NHS has to face this coronavirus crisis with a record shortage of nurses, we must get front-line health and social care staff back to work as soon as possible if they do fall ill. Testing must be provided for these key workers.

We will fight to make sure the government provides the maximum level of support for businesses, employees and public sector workers.

People are afraid for their health, but also for their livelihoods. They want to know that - in the face of this extraordinary crisis - their livelihoods and businesses are secure.

Liberal Democrats will fight to make sure the government provides the maximum level of support for businesses, employees and public sector workers, including the self-employed and those in the least protected positions in our society.

We have called on the government to:

  • guarantee that anyone who is laid off receives at least 20 days of full pay;
  • provide full council tax relief for bands A to E for at least six months, with councils fully compensated for this loss of income;
  • turn day one universal credit loans into grants immediately;
  • take action to ensure no renter is evicted in the coming months as a result of this crisis.

The Liberal Democrats have full confidence in the Chief Medical Officer and his team, but it is vital the Government continues to be open and transparent with the public about the steps it is taking to ensure it maintains public confidence in its approach to tackling the crisis.

We will continue to update our best practice guidelines here as things develop further.