As a direct response to the Chancellor’s statement made on 26 March, Stephen Morgan MP has lobbied the Government again over protections for all of Portsmouth’s self-employed as gaps in the proposals announced last night emerge.
While the Portsmouth South representative has welcomed steps made by government to provide support to this group, he has vowed to scrutinise the detail to help the self-employed in the city.
Listening to further concerns expressed by constituents he has this evening lobbied the Chancellor for further improvements to the package of support being proposed.
Self-employed people in the city have already shared issues over the impact that lengthy waiting times for financial aid will have, the lack of coverage for the newly self-employed and overall lack of detail of the proposals.
In relation to when payments will be made, Stephen Morgan MP said:
“The Chancellor’s statement announced yesterday was a step in the right direction and did cover some of the requests that I put to him last week. However, there are measures that still need to be taken.
News that self-employed people will have to wait until June before seeing any financial respite is deeply concerning. Frankly, it will be too little too late for many and could force some into continuing to work, which could have dangerous implications for the spread of Covid-19.
I have asked the Government to urgently reconsider this decision and pay these hard-working people promptly. They are a crucial part of Portsmouth’s economy; if we are all in this together we cannot afford for some to go under.”
The Chancellor yesterday announced that tax returns from the 2019 financial year would be used to project earnings covered under the scheme. This means that those who recently transitioned to self-employed status will miss out and have to claim Universal Credit.
On more encompassing support, Mr Morgan said:
“Constituents are increasingly contacting me to exemplify the gaps in the Chancellor’s proposals. One constituent has made me aware that he became a sole trader during the 2018-2019 tax year. He transitioned from a PAYE employee to self-employed towards the end of that tax year, and therefore the 2019 tax assessment is not an accurate indication of his earnings.
He will be left heavily out of pocket under the government’s current proposals. I have therefore requested that the potential option of using April 2020 tax returns is explored so that a fairer, more accurate package of support can be offered.
Comprehensive support must be offered to all, not a select few. We cannot leave people behind at this time of emergency.”
The city MP has vowed to continue relaying constituents concerns to the highest level in a bid to ensure ‘nobody is left behind’ and assist the Government in securing comparable support for the self-employed.