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Support for self-employed is 'woefully inadequate'
by Susie Hughes at 15:29 25/09/20 (News on Business)
The extension of the Government's support scheme for the self-employed has left freelancers out in the cold and facing 'a dark winder ahead'.
The Government has announced that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is being extended at 20 per cent of earnings, but still excludes one in three self-employed people, such as limited company directors and the newly self-employed. The measure was among a tranche of provisions for business as the country enters a new stage of restrictions due to Covid.

Freelancer group, IPSE, described it as 'woefully inadequate. Andy Chamberlain from IPSE said: “The support for the self-employed is woefully inadequate. Although it is right for the Chancellor to extend SEISS, the support still excludes one in three self-employed people.

“Limited company freelancers and the newly self-employed almost entirely missed out on support in the last lockdown and have faced bleak months of financial devastation. Now they face a dark winter ahead unless the Government does more for them.

“Based on the drastic financial hit self-employed people took in the last lockdown, the new 20 per cent cap on support is likely to be nowhere near enough. As well as plugging the gaping gaps in support, the Government must follow the situation closely and be ready to raise the amount of support SEISS offers if needed.

“The self-employed sector has already seen a record drop in the first half of 2020 because of the unnecessarily large gaps in Government support. The self-employed are vital for the economy and will be essential for economic recovery, but to play their part, they must get the support they need now. Government must do better for them.”

Cast aside
Tax insurance providers, Qdos, also felt that the sector had been 'cast aside

Seb Maley from Qdos said: “It looks like freelancers and contractors have once again been cast aside when it comes to receiving meaningful support from the Government. They have been left stranded and ignored when it matters most.

“Millions of people working for themselves via their own limited company have had very little to no support for six months now. Yet it will be these independent workers who will prove crucial to the UK’s economic recovery – they will provide businesses with flexibility and skills at a time when they need them more than ever.

“Most of the measures announced by the Chancellor offer support to businesses with employees. And while the extension to the self-employment grant and business loans could help some independent workers, the Government needs to look at this specific sector and offer more tailored support if it wants the economy to bounce back quickly.”

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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2020

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