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Freelancers ignored again in self-employment support
by Susie Hughes at 12:06 03/11/20 (News on Business)
As the country heads for its second national lockdown, a third of the self-employed sector will remain 'wilfully ignored' by the Government plans to offer support.
Small business groups have welcomed the Government's announcement that the support scheme for the self-employed, SEISS, will increase from 40 to 80 per cent of income saying it is 'vital support' for many of the self-employed.

However, there are still 'devastating gaps' in the package which excludes those people operating through their own limited companies, such as freelancers and contractors, and some other circumstances.

IPSE - Ignored
Derek Cribb from self-employment group, IPSE, said: “The increase in SEISS is welcome and will provide vital support for many of the UK’s struggling self-employed. It is important to note, though, that this enhanced 80 per cent rate only covers November, mirroring the extended furlough scheme. It is vital that if the furlough scheme is extended, SEISS should be adjusted accordingly.

“While the increase in SEISS is welcome, however, it is deeply troubling that the Government has still not fixed the devastating gaps in SEISS, despite urgent recommendations from the Treasury Select Committee. After so many calls to resolve the problems, it now looks as if the Government is wilfully ignoring a third of the self-employed.

“The first lockdown drastically undermined self-employed incomes, and the gaps in Government support led to the biggest drop in self-employed numbers on record.

"Unless Government wakes up to the problem and supports all the self-employed, the second lockdown will accelerate the decline and hollow out swathes of this vital sector.”

Qdos - 'Callous'

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Seb Maley from Qdos said: “Many sole traders will rightly receive the help they need once more, but millions of freelancers, contractors and small business owners have been overlooked yet again.

"It’s a deliberate, short-sighted and callous move to ignore these individuals simply because they work via their own limited companies. The irony, of course, is that it will be these workers who the Government needs most to kickstart the economy.

"It’s vital, therefore, that the Prime Minister tailors the support available to this key sector of the workforce before it's too late.”

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