Limited company contractors and the newly self-employed urgently need more support during the Covid-19 crisis, Andy Chamberlain, director of policy at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) told the Treasury Select Committee, 20 April.
Speaking at the evidence session, Chamberlain called for the government to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to include dividends – through which many limited company directors pay themselves.
Chamberlain went on to urge the government to let people who are new to self-employment submit their tax return for this year and use this to allow them access to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
Recent IPSE research shows that 69% of limited company contractors and 43% of sole traders do not feel there is enough government support to sustain them in the coming months.
Chamberlain noted that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is unprecedented, but that it has “sharp edges”.
“If you fall inside it, it’s good, but if you don’t, you get nothing. If you earn one penny over £50,000, you get nothing. If you only recently became self-employed, you get nothing. If you’re working through your own limited company, you get nothing under this scheme – although you may be able to get something from the Job Retention Scheme,” he said. “What we’re saying is: the support available under the SEISS scheme is brilliant, but can we now get support for the people who are clearly falling through the gaps of it.”