Martin Lewis gives update on SEISS grant for self-employed
SEISS grants can be received into mid-2021 under current rules and the fourth set of grants will soon become available. While millions of self-employed workers have been supported by SEISS, Rishi Sunak has been criticised for creating stringent rules that have made millions ineligible for support, with ExcludedUK, Forgotten Ltd and Pregnant Then Screwed emerging to push the Chancellor for change.
In late January, an entirely new set of proposals were presented to the Government which were designed to help those unable to get support under the current scheme.
TIGS was presented to the Chancellor by the Gaps in Support All Party Parliamentary Group, a group made up of 262 MPs spread across many political parties.
This new plan aims to provide excluded self-employed workers with a one-off targeted grant worth between £3,500 and £7,500.
This new scheme was created and designed by Rebecca Seeley Harris, the former Senior Policy Adviser to the Treasury’s Office of Tax Simplification, and it will provide payments to four specific groups within the self-employed community, including:
- The newly self-employed
- PAYE freelancers
- Ltd Company Directors
- Those excluded by the 50/50 rule in SEISS
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Rebecca estimated the cost of implementing the scheme would be approximately £10.5billion, which she argued will be less expensive than the eventual cost of inaction.
In speaking exclusively with express.co.uk, Rebecca highlighted how serious this has become for the affected self-employed: “For almost a year, the Chancellor has ignored the plight of 3million taxpayers, denying them even a morsel of Government support throughout the pandemic.
“These people – including the newly self-employed, PAYE Freelancers, Ltd Company directors and those in the 50/50 group – have helped drive Britain’s economy before and will be called in to be the engine of recovery in the months and years ahead.
“Many will have had to raid their savings and pension pots, or exist on credit and, indeed, charity, while reading headlines and being told by the Government about the billions of pounds of support being offered to other people.
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“They are likely to be financially broken, through no fault of their own, and excluded from Government aid because of the arbitrary nature of the system.
“The added insult is talk of tax rises in the Budget – increasing the tax take from both corporations and the self-employed.”
Rebecca went on to call on Rishi Sunak to make changes in his upcoming budget: “This is a group of people who have had no support, in desperate times, and are now being told they have to help pay it all back.
“It is shameful that they are having to rely on the excellent work behind the scenes of groups such as the Gaps in Support APPG.
“Rishi Sunak has a chance to make right this appalling wrong.
“His Budget offers the opportunity to recognise the dire straits that the ‘Excluded’ millions are in and bring them into the support network with a fair and equitable financial lifeline.
“Anything less will be a travesty of justice and reflect incredibly poorly on him both as a Chancellor, and as a human being.”
The next budget will be delivered on March 3 and thus far the Government has remained tight-lipped, only confirming that any changes will only be announced next month.
While it is unclear what, if any, additional support will be forthcoming the Chancellor has confirmed multiple options are being considered, which includes TIGS.
Rishi was questioned in Parliament in late January on the TIGS proposal and in response, the Chancellor had the following to say: “I’m happy to tell the honourable lady that my honourable friend the financial sector Treasury met with the authors of the report I believe back in December, and is considering it alongside all the other submissions that we received at the Treasury.”
The next budget was announced in December 2020 and the Government has only confirmed that it’ll tackle the pandemic going forward.
HM treasury released the announcement with the following comments: “The budget will set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and protect jobs and will be published alongside the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).
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