Read James' latest e-newsletter: 17/04/2020

Furlough scheme extended to help more workers get 80% of wages paid
The Government's furlough scheme was this week extended to help more workers get paid during these tough times. 

Under the scheme announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak last month, employers can claim a grant covering 80% of the wages for a furloughed employee, subject to a cap of £2,500 a month.

To qualify and to protect against fraudulent claims, individuals originally had to be employed on February 28th 2020.

But following a review to ensure the scheme helps as many people as possible, new guidance has confirmed the eligibility date has been extended to March 19 2020– the day before the scheme was announced.

£59m debt write-off for Southend Hospital
Southend Hospital is to benefit from a £59,138,000 debt write-off as part of the Government's announcement to scrap £13.4bn of NHS debt across England.

This will put our local health services in a stronger position not only to fight coronavirus in the short term, but also provide a stable footing to invest in maintaining vital services and longer-term infrastructure improvements too. 

You can read more about this story on my website here

Support for domestic abuse victims
On Saturday, the Home Secretary set out what actions the Government is taking to support domestic abuse victims and increase awareness of where people can access help during this difficult time.

These measures include £2 million in funding to immediately bolster domestic abuse helplines and online support as well as an awareness campaign demonstrating that help is available at any time.

Anybody requiring urgent medical or police assistance are encouraged to call 999. For those at risk, unable to say over the phone what help is needed, they should stay on the line and when prompted by the operator dial 55. This will let the emergency services know that it is a Domestic Abuse incident and does not put the victim at risk.

Help is also available via a 24-hour freephone helpline, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline- 0808 2000 247 (run by Refuge) and online

Mental Health support

This period of uncertainty can impact on our mental health. The NHS website has more information on managing stress and anxiety, as well as free audio guides for mental wellbeing. Click here to find out more.

Useful contacts

Thank you for taking the time to read my weekly newsletter.

Stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.

James Duddridge MP
Member of Parliament for Rochford and Southend East