Carmichael backs ambitious proposals for “excluded” Covid impact support

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today backed an ambitious plan to help the 2.9m “excluded” taxpayers deal with the impact of Covid and support the UK’s economic recovery.

The proposals, from the cross-party Gaps in Support APPG – the biggest All-Party Parliamentary Group in history – would offer support to excluded individuals and businesses during the pandemic, with one-off, targeted grants ranging from £3,500 to £7,500.

The Targeted Income Grant Scheme (TIGS) has been presented to the Treasury by the APPG, with the aim of sealing major gaps in the Government’s Covid-19 financial support package. Four groups of UK taxpayers would be covered by the scheme:

  • Newly self-employed
  • PAYE freelancers
  • Ltd Company Directors
  • Those excluded by the 50/50 rule in the SEISS

Commenting on the proposals, Mr Carmichael said:

“I am glad to back these comprehensive proposals to support people excluded from financial help to date. The Chancellor should have been looking at these support measures himself – he must consider the APPG’s report seriously and act to help those who have continually fallen through the cracks.

“Those excluded from support are taxpayers like anyone else and many have been at the forefront of our economy before the pandemic, particularly in the isles. If we want to recover strongly in the future then we need to lay the foundations for that by supporting people now.”

Liberal Democrat MP Jamie Stone, Chair of the Gaps in Support APPG, said:

“Given the economic environment, Britain will be looking to entrepreneurs and small businesses to help power us towards recovery like never before. This scheme is affordable, simple to administer, resistant to fraudulent claims and will help protect people the country will need desperately in the months and years ahead.

“Crucially, failure to offer this support – support for people who have paid their fair share into our tax system – is likely to result in a far higher long-term cost to the Treasury, both in terms of business opportunities lost and in increased costs from unemployment. Failing to act now would be a short-sighted mistake that would haunt our economic recovery. We would pay a much higher price later.”

Report author, Rebecca Seeley Harris said:

“Small businesses, sole traders and entrepreneurs will be the engine of the UK’s economic recovery in the months and years ahead. But, if we do not support them now, many face ruin.

“Without targeted support, jobs will be cut, hard-earned savings will run dry and livelihoods will be lost. It will be much more expensive to rebuild what we had later down the road than to provide the reasonable support needed now.”

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