Helensburgh's MP has added his voice to the growing chorus of MPs from all parties urging more government help for self-employed and freelance workers to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

Brendan O'Hara has written to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, asking him to make protection of people who are self-employed, freelance or who work in the 'gig economy' more of a priority.

Mr O'Hara, the SNP MP for Argyll and Bute, said on Tuesday: "The self-employed, freelance workers, those working in the gig economy and unemployed people have waited too long for the UK government to introduce a financial package of support to see them through this crisis.

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"Today I wrote to the Chancellor asking that he makes protecting these groups his key priority in the coming days and urging that he looks again at a basic guaranteed income for every household for the duration of this crisis."

In his letter Mr O'Hara thanked the Chancellor for the measures he has put in place so far to protect jobs and support businesses in Argyll and Bute.

Mr O'Hara asked Mr Sunak to examine the SNP's proposal to pay every household a minimum guaranteed income for the duration of the crisis, to raise the level of UK statutory sick pay (SSP) to the same as the EU average, to widen SSP entitlement to include those who are self-employed and who are currently under the earnings threshold, and to include self-employed workers in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

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He added: "I have been inundated with emails and messages from self-employed people and those who have sadly lost their jobs as a result of this crisis.

"Their situation is becoming more and more desperate with each passing day, and as our fellow citizens, who have played such an important part in building our local economy, I implore you not to ignore or dismiss their plight.

"We all know that £94 a week is nowhere near enough for someone to live on, feed their family and pay their bills."

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