THE Trades Union Congress has written to North–West MPs calling for more financial assistance for workers in the region affected by the government's latest coronavirus restrictions.

Its general secretary Frances O’Grady and regional secretary Lynn Collins tell that the government has not gone far enough to save jobs and livelihoods.

They say that the local furlough scheme for businesses that are required to close should be made more generous, businesses based in local lockdown areas affected by low demand but not required to close should be eligible for an enhanced local Job Support Scheme, and the government should ensure self-employed workers do not miss out on necessary support.

The letter comes in advance of MPs debating new local restrictions in the House of Commons today, including the chancellor’s proposed expansion of the job support scheme.

Ms Collins said: "“The measures will have an enormous impact on the lives of working people in the North–West. The government’s job support package remains inadequate.

“We have been clear on what’s needed to save jobs and livelihoods. Wage replacement should be 80 per cent where businesses are forced to close. Firms which are hit by stricter local restrictions but aren’t required to close need a more generous short-time working scheme, and there needs to be extra help for the overlooked self-employed.”