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A group of cross-party MPs and campaigners presented a series of petitions to the Treasury asking for the “excluded” three million taxpayers to receive vital financial aid.

Although the UK Government’s furlough scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) have provided a lifeline for many, the schemes have overlooked a string of business professionals, including those newly self-employed in the last 18 months, directors of limited companies and freelance workers paid via PAYE.

A quartet of petitions were submitted to officials this week. The first, containing around 350,000 signatures, calls for Government aid for directors of small limited companies amounting to 80% of average earnings.

The second, with over 87,000 signatures, seeks financial support for owner-managed businesses operating as limited companies. The third, boasting more than 75,000 signatures, highlights the excluded workers that recently began new jobs and are deemed ineligible for furlough.

Finally, there is a petition containing over 11,000 signatures urging the Chancellor to reconsider offering the SEISS to freelancers paid via PAYE. All of which have been discussed at length among MPs in the House of Commons.

Cross-party MPs including Caroline Lucas and Jamie Stone were joined by Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis and Gina Broadhurst, co-founder of the Forgotten Ltd campaign organisation.

“This isn’t a party political issue. When the Chancellor’s coronavirus financial support schemes launched, they were rightly lauded for protecting millions of people’s jobs and incomes,” said Lewis.

“I gave them an A grade, but said what’d really count is the help they’d give for those who’d fallen through the cracks in the, understandable, rush.

“Now those cracks are fissures. That A grade has degraded. Many are without help, including those who’ve changed jobs, started a business in the last 18 months, are on freelance PAYE, are limited company directors, work for agencies, are shielding, or just had employers who didn’t care.”

Since the coronavirus lockdown, TaxAssist Accountants has supported the “excluded millions” demographic, writing two open letters to Chancellor Rishi Sunak requesting a review of the Government’s support measures for businesses and the self-employed.

Daren Moore, Group Commercial Director, TaxAssist Accountants, said: “We urge [the Chancellor] to consider the many businesses, families and jobs that continue to be at risk and to review [his] current support schemes to ensure that all small businesses receive the support they deserve.”

Date published 17 Jul 2020 | Last updated 28 Nov 2023

Fraser McKay, MCIPR (Accredited)

Fraser is a highly experienced journalist and Accredited PR Professional and joined TaxAssist in 2016. He writes articles covering a wide range of topics relating to small businesses and accounting. In addition, Fraser provides communications training to the network, as well as looking after TaxAssist Accountants' national and local social media channels.

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