Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today called on the government to make urgent changes to the planned support for self-employed people. Concerns have been raised in recent weeks that the support measures announced by the Chancellor have significant gaps, while the Scottish Government has announced that £100m will be made available to protect self-employed people and viable SME businesses in distress due to COVID-19.
Mr. Carmichael said:
“This week I am challenging the Chancellor to do more for the self-employed. It is obvious now that the measures announced to date are not sufficient and that time is running out to make a meaningful difference. Actions by the Scottish Government are welcome but an integrated approach is needed.
“In recent weeks I have spoken with self-employed people across the isles, representing every walk of life, and their message to the government could not be clearer: it is time for a rethink. Almost half of self-employed people are worried that they will not be able to cover basic costs like rent and bills.”
“We have learned that only 2% of businesses have been able to access government-backed loans since they were introduced last month. If that is the situation for regular businesses it does not inspire a great deal of confidence in the coverage for self-employed people. The government can start to build that confidence again by announcing new measures now.”