Self-employed face ‘cliff-edge’ income drop next week if support scheme not renewed

Linda J. Dodson

Christopher Lack, 34, a freelance cameraman, said the difference in treatment was completely unfair. 

“I think their reasoning is that some self-employed people can still work, but then there are millions like me who can’t,” Mr Lack said. 

He films sporting events such as Wimbledon and golfing tournaments and has applied for a grant to cover the thousands of pounds’ worth of work he has lost due to cancellations. He said he did not expect his industry to restart until at least October.

“I don’t know what I’ll do until then if the grant isn’t extended,” Mr Lack added. “I’ve applied for Universal Credit but was told I’m not eligible as my wife is still working. We have really had to cut down our spending and even moved house three weeks ago in order to save money.” 

Almost 90,000 people have signed Organise’s petition to extend the self-employment income support scheme.

Nat Whalley, of Organise, said: “It’s not right to cut off support for people who simply can’t work due to their industry being forced to shut down. Unless Rishi Sunak extends the self-employed grant scheme, he will push millions of self-starters off a financial cliff-edge.”

Making sole traders feel compelled to return to work in order to earn a living could also hamper the slowdown of new coronavirus cases, Mr Chamberlain said. “Scrapping self-employed support could force freelancers back to work in unsafe conditions. It risks pushing them to make an awful choice between their health and their income,” he said. 

A Government spokesman said: “The Chancellor indicated the self-employment income support scheme (SEISS) would be a temporary one when he announced it at the end of March, but it could be extended if necessary. The Government is keeping this under review.”   

Are you a self-employed person who will have no income when the grant scheme ends in June? Let us know in the comments below

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