Ten months on from the Chancellor’s first announcements on coronavirus support, there are still 3 million people excluded from Government financial help. York Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to provide financial support to the self-employed, who continue to face untold financial challenges and are yet to receive any support from the treasury.
The 3 million individuals across the UK who are excluded from Government support include the newly self-employed, PAYE freelancers and self-employed workers who have earned £50,000 or more in trading profits in recent years. It is estimated that this group accounts for 10% of the UK’s workforce. There are more than 12,000 self-employed people in York, of which only 8400 are eligible for Government support, meaning that several thousand of York’s self-employed, together with various businesses and free-lancers, have been left with no Government support since the pandemic began. Despite the repeated calls from cross-party groups and business leaders, the Chancellor has once again rejected their pleas for help in his most recent announcement of financial support packages.
York’s Lib Dems are reiterating their calls on the Government to support the ExcludedUK campaign and urgently release more funding to support those who continue to fall through the gaps of Government support schemes.
Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for Economy and Strategic Planning, commented:
“Many low-income self-employed people have missed out on support simply because they do not have enough years of trading or are in supply chains which have been broken. There has been sufficient time since March to refine grant schemes to target resources better to support these individuals. Plans must be put in place, which offer such support whilst avoiding subsidising high earning individuals who are using tax loopholes – something which we hope the Treasury will address urgently.
“We cannot underestimate the long-term impacts that the lack of support will have on people’s personal and business finances as well as their wellbeing. Together with the many independent, small businesses, these people are the backbone of our local and national economy and on whom we will rely to provide employment in the recovery - they need help now.
“We are standing with the 3 million excluded UK taxpayers and urging the Government to provide a plan of support to the small businesses, the self-employed and the freelancers, who have been excluded from any meaningful support through no fault of their own.”