The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is urging government to set out and implement new support measures for the self-employed “as rapidly as possible”.
The calls from the business organisation follow Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge late last week that the government will be “standing behind” the UK’s five million self-employed as the coronavirus crisis intensifies.
“While it is welcome that the government has pledged to cover 80% of the wages of impacted employees, five million self-employed strivers have until now only been offered, at best, access to £94 a week. In desperation, many have attempted to apply for Universal Credit after Friday and have been turned down,” said FSB National Chairman, Mike Cherry.
“These are people who have worked hard to build up their businesses, paid their taxes and helped the economy to grow. They now face a crunch point, with many unable to operate – leaving them without money, but with bills still stacking up.
“We have been strongly urging the government not to allow the self-employed to be left high and dry, and it is welcome to hear the that the Prime Minister is listening and offering new hope. This must now be turned urgently into practical and easily accessible support. Time is now running out.
“While the government has a big role to play, it is also vital that the banks play their part as well. Billions of pounds of loan guarantees come into effect tomorrow (Monday), and the banks must pass on without delay this access to finance for the struggling self-employed.”