IPSE welcomes “sorely needed” select committee report highlighting freelancers left behind by government support

IPSE has welcomed a Treasury Select Committee report out today highlighting the number of freelancers who have fallen through the cracks in the government support package.

The report, unanimously agreed by members of the Treasury Select Committee, said the current support package is not enough since it misses out key groups such as freelancers working through limited companies and the newly self-employed. The report estimates that these groups, as well as new employees and others, make up over a million people who are missing out on support.

The report said clearly: “The government must assist these people if it is to completely fulfil its promise to do whatever it takes to protect people from the economic impact of coronavirus.” Picking up on IPSE’s evidence to the Treasury Select Committee, the report said: “The Government must find a practical solution to supporting the many limited company directors who are missing out on support because they pay themselves in dividends. IPSE has presented the Treasury with a ready-made solution and we urge the Government to accept and implement this proposal.”

Andy Chamberlain, Director of Policy at IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed), said: “This report is timely and sorely needed by over a million struggling freelancers and others across the UK who have fallen through the cracks in the government support during Coronavirus. We are very glad the Treasury Select Committee listened to our evidence and warning about the freelance groups that have been left behind.

“There are over 710,000 freelancers who work through limited companies, most of whom are now burning through their savings to get by. This group in particular is a startling and glaring omission from the government support. There are also hundreds of thousands of people who became self-employed just last year, who, in the early stages of their freelance career, are likely to be in a particularly precarious financial position. The government has left these groups completely out in the cold.

“Recent HMRC data shows over million fewer eligible people than expected drew down on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. We urge the government to turn these unused funds to help struggling, left behind freelance groups. We are far from the economy and the freelance sector returning to normal: as the Select Committee report highlights, these vital groups urgently need more support if they are to get through the coming months.”

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