There is “no excuse” for the government not to include the newly self-employed in the latest round of financial support, an industry body has urged.
Ahead of the fourth round of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) is calling on the government to introduce support for the group that has so far been excluded since the start of the pandemic.
The government has so far maintained that it cannot offer financial support to the newly self-employed because of the risk of fraud with people who had not filed a full annual tax return.
However, since most newly self-employed people will have filed their first full annual tax return by the time of the next grants, there is “no excuse” for the government to continue the exclusion.
Derek Cribb, CEO of IPSE, said: “After numerous policy proposals from us and other organisations, government has still got support to the 1.5 million excluded self-employed. These people have now been almost a year without financial aid. Many are now in spiralling debt and self-employed applications for Universal Credit have risen by over 300%.
“Ahead of the fourth round of SEISS, we urge the government to look again at ours and the other policy proposals to get support to these groups. Last year, government said it could not support the newly self-employed because of the risk of fraud with people who had filed a full year’s tax return. Most of those newly self-employed who have clung on will now have filed their first annual tax return. There should therefore be no excuse not to support this group at least