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SEISS extension is “woefully inadequate”, says IPSE

September 28, 2020

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has responded to the announcement that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is being extended at 20% of earnings. IPSE has said that although it is right to extend the scheme, in its current form it is “woefully inadequate”, particularly as it still excludes one in three self-employed people, such as limited company directors and the newly self-employed.

Andy Chamberlain, director of policy at IPSE, said the support for the self-employed announced, 24 September, is “woefully inadequate”.

He added: “Although it is right for the chancellor to extend SEISS, the support announced today still excludes one in three self-employed people.

“Limited company freelancers and the newly self-employed almost entirely missed out on support in the last lockdown and have faced bleak months of financial devastation. Now they face a dark winter ahead unless the government does more for them.”

Chamberlain added that the new 20% cap on support is likely to be nowhere near enough. “As well as plugging the gaping gaps in support, Government must follow the situation closely and be ready to raise the amount of support SEISS offers if needed,” he said.

“The self-employed sector has already seen a record drop in the first half of 2020 because of the unnecessarily large gaps in government support. The self-employed are vital for the economy and will be essential for economic recovery, but to play their part, they must get the support they need now. Government must do better for them.”

Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association, commented on the announcement: “We welcome the chancellor’s ongoing support through the measures announced today. The Job Support Scheme will help temper the level of redundancies in our sector, but, it will still place a huge financial strain on businesses currently seeing a catastrophic drop in demand.

“It will not kickstart business travel, a vital enabler of the British economy. This requires urgent action on quick testing at departure. Only this will ease the burden on an industry ravaged by Covid-19.”

There was a negative response to the chancellor’s statement from Chris Skeith, CEO of the UK’s Association of Events Organisers, who said:

“The chancellor’s proposals today fail to provide the support the UK events sector desperately needs. Given that no UK events are permitted to take place until March 2021 at the earliest, a wage subsidy is of little use to events businesses that are not able to trade at all and the sector is facing an existential threat to its viability. Without targeted action the future looks bleak for a sector that employs 600,000 people across the UK, with widespread business insolvencies and job losses a certainty. This is a desperate day for the industry.”

SOURCE: Conference News

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