Edinburgh West MP, Christine Jardine is calling for UK Government to act now to ensure proper support for all self-employed people amid concerns that self-employed residents are falling through the gaps in the scheme.
The support package provides self-employed people who have been adversely affected by covid-19 with a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years.
Many self-employed, including owner-managers paying themselves through dividends, new starters and contact workers — do not qualify for state support.
Christine Jardine, has contacted UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak to ask for an expansion of the current scheme to include those who are currently excluded.
Yet, the UK Government is refusing to extend the scheme, claiming that it would be too complicated due to the way tax returns work.
The Liberal Democrats have, also, launched a petition pushing for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to be extended to the millions of people still not receiving any support.
Christine Jardine MP said:
“I’m seriously concerned that the UK Government is refusing to extend the support scheme purely on the basis that it is too complicated.
“I’m having daily conversations with constituents who run their own business and take incomes as dividends, or how recently opened their own company, so are not eligible for support.
“These people are out of their minds with worry, but to make matters worse, many do not qualify for Universal Credit because of the way tax returns work.
“Every distressing email, and phone call from someone for whom we are searching for a way of finding support makes the case for introducing a universal basic income to fill the gaps in the financial support measures even stronger.
“Whilst some of our self-employed constituents might have the option to return to work over the coming months, this is not the case for many.
“This situation is grossly unfair and the UK Government urgently needs to step up as many face the prospect of months without work and zero support.”