A government minister has admitted that he would not be able to live on the allocated statutory sick pay of £94.25 a week it currently provides.
The health secretary was challenged by TUC chief Frances O’Grady on Question Time, who pointed out that the current amount is disproportionate to the costs of living.
She asked the minister whether he could live on the amount that the government is offering workers who catch the coronavirus.
She said: ‘We don’t just bail out the boardrooms, we’ve got to bail out workers.
‘Statutory sick pay, £94 a week, Matt, I think you would be the first one to say, that you couldn’t live on that, I don’t think any of us could.’
The Tory MP bluntly responded ‘no’ when he was asked if he could get by on the amount.
It prompted presenter Fiona Bruce to ask: ‘But you expect others to live on it?’
But Hancock insisted that the chancellor could make improvements to the total paid to workers.
‘No, I think we’ve got to support everybody, I think we’ve got to support businesses to help support their staff, we want businesses to support their staff, the best thing is if people stay in employment.’
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‘This is a once in a century event,’ he added.