Government must urgently extend wage support to the self-employed, says TUC

By agency reporter
March 24, 2020

TheTrades Union Congress (TUC) has called on the government to provide urgent aid to Britain’s fivemillion self-employed workers.

A new report says the current measures in place for self-employed workers are “inadequate” with many facing severe hardship over the coming months.

The report calls on ministers to extend the wage subsidy scheme announced on Friday to the self-employed.

The TUC says this could be done through providing the self-employed with a guarantee of at least 80 per cent of their incomes based on their last three years of self-assessment tax returns. This could be paid directly to the self-employed as a tax rebate.

The report highlights the example of Norway where the government is providing grants covering 80 per cent of self-employed workers’ earnings, and Belgium where an income replacement scheme has been set up for the self-employed.

Commenting on the report TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The government took a big and important step last week with wage subsidies for employed workers.

“But millions of self-employed workers – from the creative industries to construction – are still facing a collapse in their earnings. Many won’t be able to meet their basic living costs without further support. Ministers must urgently beef up support for the self-employed.

“Large-scale wage subsidies are the best way to boost household finances, keep businesses running and help our economy bounce back after this crisis. All workers – both employed and self-employed – should have their wages protected.”

* Read Fixing the safety net: What next on supporting working people’s incomes?   here

* Trades Union Congress https://www.tuc.org.uk/

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