Prime Minister must deliver quickly on new promise to self-employed.
Responding to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge this evening (Sunday) that the government will be “standing behind” the UK’s five million self-employed as the coronavirus crisis intensifies, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is urging the government to set out and implement new support measures as rapidly as possible.
FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “Over the weekend we have heard from thousands of self-employed people – including hairdressers, bakers, childcare providers, taxi drivers and café owners – many frightened and in despair at seeing their business fall away, and staring at the prospect of little or no financial support.
“While it is welcome that the government has pledged to cover 80 per cent of the wages of impacted employees, five million self-employed strivers have until now only been offered access to £94 a week. In desperation, many have attempted to apply for Universal Credit after Friday and have been turned down.
“These are people who have worked hard to build up their businesses, paid their taxes and helped the economy to grow. They now face a crunch point, with many unable to operate – leaving them without money, but with bills still stacking up.
“We have been strongly urging the government not to allow the self-employed to be left high and dry, and it is welcome to hear the that the Prime Minister is listening and offering new hope. This must now be turned urgently into practical and easily accessible support. Time is now running out.
“While the government has a big role to play, it is also vital that the banks play their part as well. Billions of pounds of loan guarantees come into effect tomorrow (Monday), and the banks must pass on without delay this access to finance for the struggling self-employed.”
(Down News is a member of the Federation of Small Businesses and would recommend any business to join and add to lobbying support in this difficult time.)