FSB Wales Welcomes Chancellor’s Measures to Support Self-Employed through Coronavirus Crisis

Press Releases 26 Mar 2020

Chancellor announces package of support for the self-employed on coronavirus

FSB Wales has today welcomed the announcement by Chancellor, Rishi Sunak of new UK Government support for the self-employed.

Responding to the announcement, Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair stated:

“This bold support package from the government will give much-needed help to vast numbers of self-employed workers, guaranteeing 80 per cent of income to those affected, with earnings of up to £50,000.

“This is a time of national emergency, and it is very welcome that the UK Government has listened to FSB and responded with a multi-billion-pound package to support the most financially vulnerable entrepreneurs, and to do so through the self-assessment system. 

“This follows help in the Budget and since from both Welsh and UK Governments, which has been aimed squarely at assisting our smaller businesses and we are grateful for that.  We hope the raft of support will keep as many small businesses as possible afloat.

“Until today, the self-employed, however, remained a glaring gap. They needed more help, and especially those with least resources to prepare for this storm. We have heard despairing stories from hard-working hairdressers, bakers, childcare providers, freelancers, drivers and many others, seeing the businesses they’ve spent years building dry up in a matter of days. It is many of those strivers who today’s package will support.

“The self-employed community underpins the UK and Welsh economies. They are the individual risk-takers who don’t expect the same benefit as employees. In this moment of a collective national effort to overcome a global pandemic, today’s package is a significant, multi-billion-pound improvement on what was proposed last Friday. 

“Many tax-paying self-employed who will be helped by today’s measures will be very relieved.

“There is now the opportunity for Welsh Government to make good on its previously-stated commitment to go further and we would urge them to use their support to plug the gap between now and June, when the Chancellor expects the new support to be available and to assist those not caught by this scheme but nevertheless have need. This could be in the form of a hardship grant as we have previously suggested to Ministers.

“We have the opportunity ensure the provision of  an even wider safety net for the 1 in 8 people in Wales who are self-employed and who so desperately need help. We look forward to the earliest possible clarification from Welsh Government has to how it will administer its own support

“This is an incredibly challenging situation for everyone. While the healthcare response is paramount, overcoming the economic disruption also requires a speedy response in the interests of jobs and future growth. Today’s announcement will give hope to many hard-working, self-employed entrepreneurs, and it is important that the scheme is ready on-time and delivered as soon as possible. As this will be run through self-assessment, it is vital that any late filers submit their 2018-2019 return, right now, or they risk missing out.”

About FSB

As experts in business, FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in Government. Its aim is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions. 

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