Finance expert's instant reaction to Rishi Sunak's "unprecedented" support package

20 March 2020, 18:24 | Updated: 15 June 2020, 15:27

By Seán Hickey

Claer Barrett of the Financial Times joined Eddie Mair to dissect the announcement which she said was "not good enough" for the self employed.

In a remarkable move by the government, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that tonight pubs, cafés and restaurants around the UK will close for the foreseeable future in a bid to combat coronavirus.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak also announced an unprecedented care package for workers all across the country, revealing that the government will help pay the wages of those hit economically by the outbreak. Workers will get 80 per cent of their salary up to £2,500 a month.

In a more curious move, the self-employed were guaranteed to avail of statutory sick pay through the duration of the outbreak, assuring them £94 a week.

Claer Barrett of the Financial Times joined Eddie Mair on the line for an immediate reaction to the news.

The finance expert said that the measures put forward for the self employed was simply "not good enough".

Ms. Barrett shared the example of a worker who may ordinarily earn £38,000 per annum as a PAYE employee would get a government subsidy of £30,000 in the year, but a self-employed worker finally getting some help from the government will earn around £4,500 through the year.

The Finance editor also noted that the subsidy will only apply to workers that are facing redundancy because of the coronavirus outbreak and cannot be availed of by everyone.

Ms. Barratt also noted that the government missed out the self-employed once again in their announcement that they won't have to pay their tax bills until January 2021, finding it unfair that they should still be expected to pay it.

The Chancellor's announcement is "unprecedented in scope and scale" he said during the press conference.

You can watch Claer Barrett's reaction to the announcements above.