Earlier today, both Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted that the government has no particular plan in place to ensure that low-paid workers will not face financial hardship if they ‘self-isolate’ to protect the public from the risk of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
But the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has now indicated that those not entitled to sick pay – such as workers in the so-called ‘gig economy’ – who self-isolate will have to claim Universal Credit.
The required isolation for COVID-19 is two weeks. The hated Universal Credit system has been attacked for forcing claimants into hardship and poverty – because it has an in-built five-week delay before claimants receive any support.
The proposal has been described as ‘outrageous’ by furious unions and charities.
It is yet another example of the Tories’ reckless contempt and disregard for the safety and wellbeing of ordinary people – those facing a choice between isolating in case they are infected or putting food on the table will, in many cases, try to mask symptoms and hope for the best.
And that situation – driven entirely by Conservative incompetence and disdain for the real lives of the many in a situation where government experts admit that a half-million death toll is a ‘reasonable’ worst-case scenario – will put us all in deadly danger.