Thank you to all Directors UK members who responded to our survey. Yesterday (23 March) we wrote to the Chancellor and other MPs providing our key findings to highlight the urgent need for intervention from the Treasury to support self-employed workers.
During Parliamentary questions today (24 March) the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP, and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Barclay MP, responded to a growing chorus of calls and questions from MPs across the House to act swiftly to address the growing concerns of freelancers and the self-employed. The take home from which is that the government has heard us. They recognise that many self-employed workers are in distress and they are actively working on a proposal of support which they hope to announce in the next few days. But that finding the right solution is complex.
Rest assured that Directors UK is among many other guilds, unions and professional bodies in the creative sector championing your cause and engaging with government to find practical solutions. The information you have supplied to all of us and to your MPs is invaluable in highlighting the realities of self-employed working, and a growing number of MPs and Lords have taken up the case as the government debates amendments to the Coronavirus Bill and other related discussions.
In the meantime, support measures that have been announced to date that may assist you if you are a self-employed freelancer:
- Sole traders and freelancers will be able to access the business interruption loan scheme as long as activity was channelled through a business account.
- The next self-assessment income tax payments will be deferred to January 2021.
- The minimum income floor for universal credit has been removed and self-employed workers affected by coronavirus should be able to access it.