POLITICS
17/03/2020 11:49 GMT

Tory MP 'Very Sorry' For Saying Complainant About Low Sick Pay Should 'Get A Life'

Pauline Latham has been asked if £94 a week was enough to live on – something faced by many zero-hours workers as they self-isolate amid coronavirus.

Parliament
Pauline Latham said she was "very sorry" for her tweets.

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Conservative MP Pauline Latham has apologised after she told someone who asked her if she thought statutory sick pay was enough to live on to “get a life”.

The original tweet, sent to her, asked: “Is £94 a week SSP is enough to live on? How could you manage on it?”

Twitter

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the government has said statutory sick pay will be made available for those who are advised to self-isolate even if they haven’t yet presented with symptoms.

But there are millions of low-paid workers who are not eligible to receive the payment of £94 per week.

Labour has demanded the government expand the programme to cover everyone and also increase the amount.

Instead the government has so far just said it will make it “quicker and easier” for those not eligible to receive benefits.

It comes as Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, is due today to set out a new package of support for businesses hit by the outbreak less than a week after announcing £12bn of emergency funding in the Budget

The government will also lay out emergency legislation expected to include powers for police to detain people to stop them spreading the virus and allowing hospitals to send patients home to free up beds.