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Chris Parry, Bristol South Socialist Party

The Tories are now floating the idea that maybe if they paid £500 to desperate workers in the gig economy, they might be inclined to self-isolate for two weeks if they contract Covid. It’s taken them almost a year to realise that many workers who eke out a living, or struggle to survive these days, cannot afford the luxury of taking any time off.

But it seems unlikely that this scheme will happen anyway. “These people may deliberately get infected to claim the money”, declared a Tory spokesperson on the radio!

I’m currently working in three jobs – taxi driving, parcel delivery, and Chinese takeaway deliveries three evenings a week. And I’m still hardly able to make ends meet. I cannot afford to be ill, as I have to be out there hustling seven days a week.

Shared occupancy

Here’s something else I’ve been wondering about. If you have your own property and money in the bank, self-isolation may be possible. But I live in a shared occupancy, where I don’t have my own kitchen, bathroom or toilet. Self-isolation isn’t so easy for those like me.

The Socialist Party says:

  • 100% pay for all workers furloughed, isolating, working from home, or having to stay at home because of workplace or school closures
  • ‘Insecure’ workers should get 100% of their normal income
  • Replace the gig economy with secure jobs and guaranteed hours
  • A minimum wage of at least £12 an hour as a step towards £15
  • Make the £20-a-week increase in Universal Credit permanent and extend it to legacy benefits
  • Increase benefits in line with the minimum wage
  • Make the bosses and the super-rich pay