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MP demands Government support people on low incomes self-isolating by fixing track and trace flaw

November 20, 2020 12:22 PM

In the House of Commons this week, South Lakes MP Tim Farron urged ministers to fix a flaw in the track and trace system which is leading to people on low incomes not being able to access support payments when told to self-isolate.

At the moment, Cumbria's Public Health track and trace team are unable to give out an NHS reference number when they tell people to self-isolate, and people who are on low incomes are only able to access the £500 support payment with that reference number.

The Director of Public Health in Cumbria has been raising this issue with the Government for the past three months but says he is still awaiting a response.

Speaking during a debate in Parliament on COVID-19, Tim said: "The 60-something-per cent. success rate of the national system is deeply regrettable. As in many other parts of the country, Cumbria Public Health has been far more successful, with a 97% success rate.

"However, because of a flaw in the system, if someone is contacted by Cumbria Public Health, they are not able to get the isolation grant. That is preventing many people from making the choices that they need to make to keep everybody safe, while also putting food on the table.

"The Government needs to answer calls from the Director of Public Health in Cumbria and ensure that those who are contacted and asked to isolate by that body get that grant."