AN ARTIST excluded from the Government's coronavirus support has expressed her anger at Rishi Sunak's failure to help.

Campaigners believe as many as three million freelance and self-employed workers have been unable to claim on the Government's support schemes due to various restrictions.

Ceramicist and artist Lucy Baxendale, 31, said her income had all but disappeared as a result of Covid-19, but had also found herself ineligible for the support because she had earned more through employment than she did self-employed in 2018.

"I genuinely have no idea how I'm going to make it through the rest of the year," she told the PA news agency.

Ms Baxendale, from Hereford, said she also has endometriosis, adding that "the stress of everything has made my pain so much worse and more constant".

"I had to ring my GP a couple of weeks ago for stronger pain relief, and last week I broke down in a Zoom meeting which I'm still really embarrassed about."

She added that she may soon have to face a choice of having surgery and losing out on future income, or living with the pain.

"The thought of that long-term is unbearable," she added.

Questioned about the millions who have been without incomes in similar circumstances, Mr Sunak told the Commons: "I have acknowledged that we haven't been able to help everyone in the exact way they would like.

"But because of the strengthening we've put in place of our welfare system and our universal loans schemes, everyone has been able to access some form of support."

The comment angered many of the excluded workers, who say they have been unable to access enough to cover costs like rent and food.

Ms Baxendale added: "Many of us have to work a mixture of PAYE and SE, and there is no legal commitment from organisations to honour freelance contracts if something like this happens.

"The Government seems to view universal credit as support, but that just shows how out of touch they are with living costs. No wonder so many people are using food banks."

Campaign group ExcludedUK said: "Whilst we appreciate the importance of the discussions about opening up the economy and the future economic recovery, those excluded have had no meaningful support for well over 100 days.

"With little to no income during this time and loaded with debt, amid so much uncertainty in the coming weeks and months to come, those excluded cannot look forward to the future with any hope."