Campaign group Excluded UK has branded the self-employed support announced at the Budget is “too little, too late” for the three million workers so far “excluded” from financial help during the pandemic.
Rishi Sunak’s announcement means people who became self-employed in the 2019/20 tax year would become eligible for the fourth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant covering the months February to April this year.
ExcludedUK has been calling on the Chancellor to support three million people excluded from support, including self-employed workers, zero-hour contract workers and PAYE freelancers and more, throughout the pandemic. But Sonali Joshi, ExcludedUK co-founder, said today’s announcement will do little for the 10 per cent of the UK workforce already “plunged into debt and poverty”.
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Joshi told The Big Issue: “ExcludedUK welcomes the extension of SEISS with the inclusion of 2019/2020 tax returns in the calculation of trading profits, for which we have been campaigning vigorously over the last year. However, we know that at least three million taxpayers and households have been affected and even with this further support it does not account for this last year of decimated incomes and businesses for those who are now included, for whom this may be too little too late.
The system is broken. Heartbroken, but more determined than ever to right this wrong no matter how long it takes. You should be ashamed of yourself @RishiSunak, you have cost lives and there will be more!!! #disgusting#ExcludedUK
— ExcludedUK (@ExcludedUK) March 3, 2021