Rishi Sunak urged to help as self-employed set to face ‘another sharp blow’ to finances

Budget 2021: Rishi Sunak outlines support for self-employed

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Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has been tasked with steering Britain through the ongoing COVID-19 crisis by providing financial support. Schemes such as furlough and SEISS have offered welcome aid to those who have been impacted by the pandemic. Billions of pounds have been shelled out by the Government to help keep millions of Britons afloat during this challenging time. 

However, with news beginning to circulate that lockdown easing could be placed on hold, some have expressed worry.

Self-employed people, who have arguably been significantly impacted by the pandemic, are concerned a further delay could affect their financial stability.

Indeed, for particular sectors who have been closed throughout the majority of the pandemic, pushing the date of lockdown easing back is bad news.

It may mean some businesses and freelancers are unable to continue to operate as they have significantly reduced funds. 

As a result, some organisations such as the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed are urging action.

More, they state, needs to be done to ensure the self-employed, as well as freelancer-dominated industries are able to cope going forward.

Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at IPSE, commented on the matter.

He said: “The delay to the easing of lockdown restrictions will be another sharp blow to freelancer-dominated industries, such as events, the night-time economy and the creative sector.

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“These are industries where you can find many of the million freelancers who are still excluded from support and the delay will make matters even worse for them.

“These sectors have been pummelled by the financial damage of the pandemic, and many freelancers in these areas are running on fumes and taking on debt just to get by.

“Although there may be a clear case for delaying the easing of restrictions, Government must match this with further and more targeted support to these devastated sectors and the freelancers who work within them.”

As a result, IPSE has urged intervention from the Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Government.

This, it has said, could be introduced through a sectoral support and stimulus package to protect the sectors which have been most impacted by lockdown.

Such support, the organisation argued, could help self-employed individuals and particular sectors through continuing restrictions.

It would also allow a quicker recovery once the economy does eventually reopen.

Mr Chamberlain concluded: “These are some of the biggest sectors for freelancers, and some of the most significant for the UK economy.

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“They must not be an afterthought in the Government’s roadmap.”

Under current plans, lockdown is set to be eased on June 21st, however, the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 has many worried this could prevent easing.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to give a press conference at six o’clock this evening, where it is expected he will lay out any changes.

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