Unions, business groups and campaigners write to the Chancellor, urging him to fix the gaps in support

29 November 2020

Unions, business organisations, politicians and campaign groups have written to the Chancellor following his failure to address gaps in support for the self-employed in the Spending Review.

April 27, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces micro loan for small businesses. Credit Simon Walker HM Treasury

Chancellor Rishi Sunak. (Photo by Simon Walker HM Treasury)

The letter warns that with the schemes now set to run for at least a year, the continued omission of these workers is causing immeasurable hardship and huge mental health consequences for those impacted and their families. 

Mike Clancy, Prospect general secretary, said:

“Millions of workers have been excluded from direct government income support since the start of this crisis and despite business groups and unions uniting in calls for the oversight to be addressed. Once again we are coming together to insist that the government rights this wrong.

“If we are to have a quick economic recovery next year, we need self-employed and freelance workers to be able to support themselves. They will not be able to do this if they are forced into destitution because of arbitrary red lines in schemes that were devised on the hoof and never intended to have to last for a whole year.

“This is going to be a tough winter but we can come through it, but only if the Chancellor thinks again and closes these gaps immediately.”

Philippa Childs, head of Bectu, said:

“The creative industries provided a much needed bright spot during the last recession, but this success has been rewarded with a support scheme that many in the creative workforce cannot access.

“The Chancellor must urgently address the flaws in the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, which is excluding thousands of self-employed and freelance creatives.”

Read the full letter here.