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3 million ‘excluded’ from pandemic support demand help in Spring Budget

Campaign group ExcludedUK has written an open letter to the Chancellor asking that self-employed people and other groups receive pandemic support
Chancellor Rishi Sunak on his way to appear on Sunday politics TV ahead of the Spring Budget.HM Treasury/Flickr

Campaign group ExcludedUK has warned Chancellor Rishi Sunak that failing to help the three million people “excluded” from pandemic support will damage the UK’s economic recovery.

In an open letter to the Chancellor, ExcludedUK founders have begged Sunak to listen to their proposals for how the Treasury can support the group, made up of self-employed workers, new business owners, those in between jobs and others.

The letter, which was sent to the Treasury on Monday night, has attracted more than 3,500 signatures including the backing of Metro Mayors Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham as well as London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Green MP Caroline Lucas and Liberal Democrat Layla Moran also signed the letter alongside Big Issue founder John Bird.

“Various proposals have been presented to the Treasury that are not complex and do guard against fraud,” write the letters’ signatories. “We urge you to consider these and include measures in the upcoming Budget that will provide the much-needed financial support for those who find themselves outside of the scope of the eligibility criteria of the existing schemes. Not helping these people is equally at odds with economic recovery.”

There has been little indication that Sunak will move to boost support for the three million people – 10 per cent of the UK workforce – currently “excluded”.

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But in a five-and-a-half minute promotional video ahead of the Budget, Sunak vowed to continue supporting UK workers through the pandemic.

The Chancellor said: “Throughout this crisis I have always been determined to make sure the government is doing what it can to provide support and get through this enormously difficult time, and that’s not going to stop.

“People should be reassured that we are going to continue to be there to support them as we get through this difficult period and emerge hopefully stronger on the other side.”

Read the letter in full below.

“Dear Chancellor,

We are writing to you from ExcludedUK with collective support from a wide range of organisations and many individuals with regard to gaps in the government Covid-19 support scheme affecting some three million UK taxpayers.

While many have received vital support since the onset of the pandemic, so many others have been left behind. The three million figure, now so often referred to, comes from HMRC data and BEIS Business Population Estimates and has been confirmed by figures released by the National Audit Office. It is not just the 1.5 million self-employed that you have previously referred to. Standard Life Foundation’s latest survey estimated that as many as 3.8 million are in fact affected.

The impacts are far-reaching and only set to become more acute, with ever-increasing financial hardship as each month passes and spiralling debt that has already devastated people’s livelihoods and businesses and will continue to do so for years to come without the support so vitally needed. These impacts equally extend to households – children and families, and for small business owners, their employees, freelancers and contractors too if their own businesses are in peril.

This is a substantial section of the workforce and they need support to get through this crisis – people who were furthering their careers by starting a new job, those in between jobs, those who for whatever reason were denied furlough, those who took the plunge to set up a new business, those with entrepreneurial spirit serving their communities and beyond, freelancers, those combining PAYE and self-employment, those whose maternity or parental leave fell at a certain time, people excluded due to pensions, bereavement payments, carer’s allowance, redundancy, shielding and more.

These are people who are the lifeblood of our economy and communities, many who have been taxpayers for years and not previously had to rely on the State, and businesses that are viable. Moreover, people are facing the crisis among so much uncertainty that still lies ahead, particularly for those in the hardest hit sectors.

Various proposals have been presented to the Treasury that are not complex and do guard against fraud. We urge you to consider these and include measures in the upcoming Budget that will provide the much-needed financial support for those who find themselves outside of the scope of the eligibility criteria of the existing schemes. Not helping these people is equally at odds with economic recovery.

Providing this support now is the right and fair thing to do.

Yours Sincerely

Dr Sonali Joshi – Co-Founder, ExcludedUK; Founder & Director, Day for Night Film & Visual Arts Ltd
Aron Padley – Co-Founder, ExcludedUK
Rachel Flower – Co-Founder and Spokesperson, ExcludedUK

Jennifer Griffiths – HR, Admin & Member Welfare Manager, ExcludedUK Alan Brown MP
Alison Thewliss MP
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester

Angus MacNeil MP Apsana Begum MP Barbara Keely MP
Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP Ben Lake MP
Brendan O’Hara MP Caroline Lucas MP Catherine McKinnell MP Chris Law MP

Chris Stephens MP
Christine Jardine MP
Christina Rees MP
Claire Hanna MP
Claudia Webbe MP
Clive Efford MP
Clive Lewis MP
Daisy Cooper MP
Dan Jarvis MP and Mayor of the Sheffield City Region
Darren Jones MP – Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Dave Doogan MP

David Davis MP
Debbie Abrahams MP
Deidre Brock MP
Diana Johnson MP
Drew Hendry MP
Ed Davey MP
Emma Lewell-Buck MP
Esther McVey MP
Gavin Newlands MP
Hannah Bardell MP
Ian Blackford MP, SNP Westminster Leader Ian Byrne MP

Imran Hussain MP
Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor
Jamie Stone MP
Janet Daby MP
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP
Joanna Cherry QC MP
Lord John Hendy QC
Kenny MacAskill MP
Kevin Brennan MP
Kim Johnson MP
Kirsten Oswald MP
Layla Moran MP
Lilian Greenwood MP
Dr Lisa Cameron MP
Margaret Ferrier MP
Marion Fellows MP
Mary Kelly Foy MP
Mhairi Black MP
Mick Whitley MP
Munira Wilson MP
Navendu Mishra MP
Neale Hanvey MP
Nicholas Trent, Earl of Clancarty
Olivia Blake MP
Owen Thompson MP
Patricia Gibson MP
Paula Barker MP
Philip Davies MP
Philippa Whitford MP
Rachel Hopkins MP
Rebecca Long-Bailey MP
Richard Thomson MP
Rosie Cooper MP
Rushanara Ali MP
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
Sarah Champion MP
Sarah Olney MP
Siobhain McDonagh MP
Stella Creasy MP
Stephen Farry MP
Steven Bonnar MP
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Stewart Hosie MP
Stewart McDonald MP
Tim Farron MP
Tommy Sheppard MP
Tonia Antoniazzi MP

Tracy Brabin MP
Wera Hobhouse MP
Zarah Sultana MP
Alex Hall – Chair, Live Comedy Association
Alice Britton – Co-Founder, Denied Furlough Group
Andy Harrower – Chief Executive, Directors UK
Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE)
Bill Bankes-Jones – Freelancers Make Theatre Work
Caroline Norbury – Chief Executive, Creative Industries Federation
Chrissy Kinsella – Chief Executive, London Music Fund
Christina Lister & Marge Ainsley – Co-directors, Museum Freelance
Deborah Annetts – Chief Executive, Incorporated Society of Musicians
Ella Taylor – Freelance Classical Soprano, Freelancers Make Theatre Work
Ellie Peers – General Secretary, Writers’ Guild of Great Britain
Dr Fiona Whitehurst – Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University Business School
Professor Francis Greene – Head of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group, Edinburgh University Business School, University of Edinburgh
Gary White, We Make Events
Gina Miller – Co-Founder of SCM Direct & The True and Fair Campaign
Dr Holly Patrick – Lecturer, Edinburgh Napier University
Horace Trubridge – General Secretary, Musicians’ Union
James Vanderzee – Co-Founder, Academy for Women Entrepreneurs; Director, Vie Digital Ltd; Director, Scrummy Club Loyalty
Jo Taylor-Hitchinson – Co-Founder, Dial F for Freelancer
Joeli Brearley – CEO and Founder, Pregnant Then Screwed
John Caudwell – Business Leader, Philanthropist and Founder of Phones4U
Prof Julia Rouse – Women’s Enterprise Policy Group and Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre, Manchester Metropolitan University
Liz Bayram – CEO, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years
Liz Tucker – Chair, Women in Film and TV
Martin Lewis – Founder,
Miatta Fahnbulleh – Chief Executive, New Economics Foundation
Michelle Stanistreet – General Secretary, National Union of Journalists
Mike Buckley – Director, Campaign Central Ltd
Mike Clancy – General Secretary, Prospect
Mubin Haq – Chief Executive Officer, Standard Life Foundation
Nicola Cromwell – Co-Founder, Denied Furlough Group
Paul W Fleming – General Secretary, Equity
Paul Lancaster – Founder & Director, Newcastle Startup Week
Paule Constable – Freelancers Make Theatre Work
Philippa Childs – Head of Bectu
Ros Bragg – Director, Maternity Action
Roy Rickhuss – General Secretary, Community
Ruth Talbot, Single Parent Rights
Sacha Lord – Night-Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, Co-Founder Parklife, Co- Founder The Warehouse Project

Professor Sharon Collard, on behalf of the Personal Finance Research Centre, University of Bristol
Steffan Donnelly – Wales Freelance Taskforce and Freelancers Make Theatre Work
Steve McNamara – General Secretary, Licensed Taxi Drivers Association on behalf of excluded black cab drivers

Toki Allison – Co-Founder, Dial F for Freelancer; BFI Film Audience Network Access Officer Tony Robinson OBE – The Micro Business Champion, #MicroBizMatters Day and Chair Yorkshire in Business
Trevor MacFarlane FRSA – Culture Commons

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