UK lockdown: Self-employed caller "horrified" by Chancellor's support scheme

26 March 2020, 20:35

This was a self-employed caller's "horrified" reaction to the support scheme announced by Rishi Sunak.

Tracey is self-employed and was "horrified" to learn that she would not be eligible for the support scheme the Chancellor announced earlier today as she earns just over the scheme's threshold of £50,000 a year.

For those earning under this threshold Rishi Sunak announced the self-employed will receive a taxable grant of up to 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years up to £2,500 per month.

"I thought finally I believed in him and I thought he was going to bring us something. I'm just over this threshold of £50,000. Self-employed, four kids, mortgage like most people and I've been on zero income for the last two weeks because my business was completely closed down," Tracey said.

"I'm horrified that somebody who's employed and earns £38,000 a year is still getting that, I'm self-employed, I've been paying in for the last 20 years, I earn £55,000 and I'm going to get nothing at all. It's just beyond belief. I'm stunned, I'm hoping I've missed something," she said.

Finance editor Claer Barrett reminded Tracey the HMRC will look at peoples' three year average and if she hasn't always earned this particular amount, she may still be eligible.

Ms Barrett also pointed out that the £50,000 threshold refers to a person's trading profit and not the revenue they make as a whole.

Once outgoings are deducted from the tax return, Tracey's profit may be under £50,000 and if so she'll be eligible, Ms Barrett explained.

IPSE spokesperson Ryan Barnett added that if Tracey trades under a limited company she may be able to furlough herself for the coming months. However Mr Barnett said this will depend on the detail of the support scheme which is released tonight.

Tracey said that in the mean time she'll have to dip into her life savings to stay afloat, money she was saving for her retirement.