Support for self-employed welcome but gaps remain – Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed news that the Chancellor has announced new measures to support self-employed people, but has voiced concern about gaps in the plan for seasonal industries. Self-employed people facing financial difficulties will be able to have 80% of their monthly wages, calculated using average monthly profits over last three financial years and capped at £2,500 per month. Support is currently planned to last for three months only.

Mr Carmichael said:

“MPs of all parties have been highlighting the lack of support for self-employed people for some days and I am glad that the government is starting to catch up. As I put it to the Prime Minister on Wednesday, self-employed people are not looking for special treatment but for equal treatment with employed people. The measures today seem to go some way towards that.”

He continued:

“There are, however, still large gaps in the support for self-employed people. The wait until June will be extremely challenging for many, especially with the reluctance of many banks to offer bridging loans currently.

“Tourism, which makes up such a vital part of the local economy in the isles, is obviously highly seasonal and yet this is not recognised in the Chancellor’s plan. Three months of government support based on an “annual average” will not paper over the financial hole faced by those who rely on the usual summer trade to cover them through the rest of the year.”

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