Tony, 52, and Clair, 45, Mcnamara are two of an estimated ‘three million people’ who received no help from the government during the pandemic (Picture: PA/Clair and Tony Mcnamara)

A couple drowning in £12,000 of mounting debt fear they’ll starve after getting no financial help from the government during the coronavirus crisis.

Tony, 52, and Clair, 45, Mcnamara say they ‘don’t want to carry on’ after their company went under during the pandemic and they weren’t eligible for any of the Covid-19 schemes set up to help people living in the UK.

The ‘despairing’ parents-of-one, from Suffolk, have been forced to put their home on the market and sell their car after struggling to live on Universal Credit for the past five months.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised ‘no one will be left behind’ in March – but they are only two of an estimated ‘three million taxpayers’ who have fallen through the cracks, as the UK enters the biggest recession on record.

Clair, who is unable to work due to a severe case of Crohn’s Disease, told Metro.co.uk:  ‘I have not slept since this started. I get up in the morning, I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to carry on, but I have to.

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‘I don’t feel like there’s any way out. My husband and myself have both lost so much weight. I can’t wear my wedding ring because it fell off.

‘It’s the fact there’s no end. You’re sitting there and you’re watching your money go and you just think “are we going to starve? Is that what’s eventually going to happen to us?”‘


Couple struggling to get out of bed in morning six months on from getting no help from government during pandemic
The couple has been left in ‘disbelief and despair’ over the past five months (Picture: Clair and Tony Mcnamara)

Tony was the director of a single-person company that sold wallpaper to the hospitality sector before lockdown measures were imposed.

The dad couldn’t obtain a grant under the Self-employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) as it is a limited company and couldn’t furlough himself as he would have to shut his entire company down.

All business requests dried up as the government allegedly told him he was ‘too complicated’ to help.

The couple has now put their home on the market as they struggle to pay their mortgage and utility bills and feed their family and pets on a monthly payout of £590.

They say they are drowning in debt, with little hope of finding work as thousands apply for jobs that would have previously only attracted a handful of applicants.

Tony said: ‘It’s been scary enough for Clair to have an existing health condition and hospitals closed with a virus out there.


Britain's Chancellor of Exchequer Rishi Sunak wearing a face mask visits the Jobcentre Plus in east London, Thursday July 16, 2020, to see the new support being provided in job centres, as part of the Government???s Plan for Jobs. (Anthony Upton/Pool via AP)
Chancellor Rishi Sunak originally promised no one would be left behind (Picture: AP)

‘We were told to say goodbye to loved ones, and then on top of that, you take away someone’s ability to earn money and to eat and don’t give them support?

‘It takes all our fight to not give up. It’s a constant start to each day kidding yourself these efforts are going to make a difference today.’

Speaking about Rishi Sunak’s ‘unprecedented’ coronavirus packages, he added: ‘If somebody asks you what you’re going to do about the person who’s just been run over on the other side of the road, you wouldn’t answer “I’m a first aider, I’ve helped 500 people already”.

‘We’re people who’ve worked hard for the life we lead. We are now being made to feel completely left out.’

Campaign group ExcludedUK is currently fighting to help those ‘abandoned’ by the government and left in need of financial and mental health support.

More than 200 MPs have joined an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) calling on ministers to take action.

However, Rishi Sunak has insisted there will be no changes to government schemes – despite warnings from campaigners that financial hardship is leaving people destitute and, in some extreme cases, suicidal.


ONS Figures - Recession
The UK plunged into the biggest recession on record on Wednesday (Picture: ONS)

A HM Treasury spokesperson told Metro.co.uk an all-party Treasury Select Committee determined in June that one million people had been locked out of coronavirus support and the government does not recognise ExcludedUK’s figure of three million.

They added: ‘We have kept over 9.6 million people in work, supported the incomes of 2.7 million self-employed people and helped businesses across the UK get through the outbreak – acting quickly to deliver one of the most generous and comprehensive packages of support in the world worth an initial £160 billion.

‘We’ve also invested more than £9bn to strengthen our welfare safety net to ensure it’s more generous and accessible for those who need it, and our Bounce Back Loan Scheme ensures that the smallest businesses can access up to £50,000 loans in a matter of just days.

‘As part of the next phase of our economic plan to rebuild and recover the UK, we recently announced Our Plan for Jobs to help ensure people and businesses can come back from this crisis stronger.’

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Source: Metro