12:28 GMT24 July 2021
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    British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is coming under pressure to clarify whether self-employed workers will continue to receive emergency financial support from Westminster.

    The UK’s government launched its furloughing scheme in March in response to the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic, and it has since been extended until October for people who are not self-employed.

    UKIP Scotland Leader Donald MacKay reflects on whether Westminster will come to the help of independent contractors, who are still likely to have to wait until the summer to fully resume business operation as normal.

    Sputnik: Will the British government continue to provide financial support for the self-employed?

    Donald MacKay: I have serious doubts that there will be any substantial help for the self-employed because I think that the damage has already been done, and not many small businesses can cope too well with the kind of long-term paralysis that we have had. In this regard; I am a bit of a sceptic about anything that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will choose to do.

    Sputnik: How could Westminster pay off debts accrued in order to fund the coronavirus furloughing scheme?

    Donald MacKay: Although all of the emphasis has been on controlling the coronavirus pandemic, the reality is, that the economic costs of this are going to be higher than anything we have ever faced, even in wartime.

    I just don’t know how we are going to get out of a substantial deficit and government debt, because of the amount of money that has been provided, and in my opinion, unnecessarily, into shutting down the small business community, on a large scale.

    Some beer taps are covered at The Prince, a pub friends Steve Pond and Dominic Townsend share an apartment above and say are lucky enough to be stuck in during lockdown as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in London, Britain April 28, 2020.
    © REUTERS / Dylan Martinez
    Some beer taps are covered at The Prince, a pub friends Steve Pond and Dominic Townsend share an apartment above and say are lucky enough to be stuck in during lockdown as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in London, Britain April 28, 2020.

    Sputnik: Should the UK have ended its coronavirus lockdown sooner?

    Donald MacKay: We’ve got the so-called Scottish Government, who are run by a second rate politician masquerading as a statesman, as she tries to make us all feel better, but the lockdown has been far too intense, and although nobody is questioning the need to take common-sense measures; the small business community has been demolished by this.

    The economic consequences are likely to be far-reaching, there will be high unemployment and serious debt, so the British government in Westminster are correct to start easing the lockdown, but they should have done it sooner.

    Tags:
    UK Independence Party (UKIP), Scotland, Westminster, lockdown, COVID-19, United Kingdom
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