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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:37 pm 
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Interesting video from personal finance expert Martin Lewis, who says Government working on support package for self-employed, and it may be announced by Friday, but that the technical details very difficult.

Which was kind of what I was surmising, because while the chancellor hasn't announced anything much in the way of support for the self-employed, on the other hand he hasn't specifically denied that anything would happen, despite the clamour for action from journalists, politicians, the unions and other commentators.

And, as Martin Lewis says, the technical detail is probably why it's taking so long. For example, I'm thinking:

    - how would the numbers be calculated? Relatively easy if you're an employee earning a salary when you're laid off, but what about the self-employed with a patchy history, other income or whatever?

    - when is it reasonable to say you can't work? Again, relatively easy if an employee is laid off and business closed up, but not see easy for freelancers. For example, you might get by as a taxi driver working 7x12 hour shifts, but is that reasonable? Or is it reasonable to maybe sit on the ranks all day for a tenner in fares and take that into consideration?

    - when would it all start and end? Again, easy when an employee is fired and starts work again, but not so easy with people like cab drivers.

    - how would it be administered and payments made? The benefits and tax systems likely to be on their knees at the moment because of everything that's happening, never mind having to deal with a new scheme like this.

Anyway, Martin Lewis's video is here. And it also explains the current assistance available to the self-employed, but I don't know too much about the benefits system and all that, so it didn't really make a huge amount of sense to be honest :?

https://twitter.com/MartinSLewis/status ... 3452150785


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:54 pm 
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I still think some sort of retainer if you cannot or agree not to work is best

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:11 pm 
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Coronavirus support for self-employed ‘incredibly complicated’, says Chancellor

https://www.itv.com/news/2020-03-24/cor ... hancellor/

Struggling self-employed people will have to wait for the Government to come up with a “deliverable and fair” coronavirus support package, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said.

Boris Johnson’s Government has come under sustained pressure to provide financial help for self-employed workers, who face a dramatic loss of income if forced to take time off for sickness or quarantine.

Mr Sunak told MPs it is “incredibly complicated” to design a system to support the self-employed but insisted that intensive work is going on in Whitehall.

He said ministers are “in dialogue with all the key stakeholder groups”.

“There are genuine practical and principled reasons why it is incredibly complicated to design an analogous scheme to the one that we have for employed workers, but … rest assured that we absolutely understand the situation that many self-employed people face at the moment as a result of what’s happening and are determined to find a way to support them,” he told the Commons.

“We just need to be confident that can be done in a way that is deliverable and is fair to the vast majority of the British workforce.”

Across the capital on Tuesday, the first day of the lockdown, building sites were filmed being busy as thousands of workers streamed into work following the government announcement they could continue to operate.

Unite union boss Len McCluskey said: “The millions of self-employed and insecure workers across the country will dread being sent home because it means that they will have no wage.

“The Government must work with trade unions to define the tougher isolation rules because we understand the reality of the workplace.”

He added: “Without swift clarity for millions of insecure and uncertain workers about whether they can be at work or not, and without removing the agonising choice between health and hardship, then the positive measures announced by the Chancellor last week will be overshadowed and public health efforts will be severely compromised.

“Confused messages and lack of financial support are at odds with the urgency of this health emergency.

“Workers need clear direction and protection from Government now.”

Rachel Reeves, Labour chairwoman of the Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, has written to Business Secretary Alok Sharma calling for ministers to extend the income protection scheme to cover the self-employed and to increase the rate of statutory sick pay.

She said: “The Chancellor’s package last week to support businesses and employees was welcome.

“But with self-employed and freelancers still not covered by support – even as many of their businesses are now subject to lockdown – there is a worrying gap in the Government’s strategy to protect these livelihoods which urgently needs to be put right.”

Raising the issue in the Commons, Labour MP Wes Streeting (Ilford North) said: “One newspaper is already reporting that the Chancellor is going to implement an income protection scheme for the self-employed and make an announcement within the next 24 hours.

“I must say, I got from the Chancellor’s earlier reply a slightly longer timescale when he was talking about the end of April.

“Coming back to this point of reassurance, can he (Mr Sunak) give us some real reassurance now to those anxious self-employed people across the country that an announcement will be made very shortly?”

Outlining the capacity of HMRC and the DWP to deliver brand new schemes Mr Sunak responded: “What I can tell (Mr Streeting) is we would hope to have something to say very shortly.

“In terms of something being implemented, that will take longer.”

He added: “In terms of saying what we are planning to do, that can be something that hopefully we can do relatively shortly.

“Implementation will take a longer timeframe for the very clear delivery challenges that this scheme would pose.”


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:32 pm 
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He could refund the tax I paid in January,that would be a start,very simple exercise for HMRC to do.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:54 pm 
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Quote:
“We just need to be confident that can be done in a way that is deliverable and is fair to the vast majority of the British workforce.”

Just give us £2,000 a month on the basis that, providing we are not ill or looking after ill people, we deliver the food parcels to the vulnerable.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:39 pm 
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Just give us £2,000 a month on the basis that, providing we are not ill or looking after ill people, we deliver the food parcels to the vulnerable.


Which is just what New York are doing.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/24/2119 ... livery-pay

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:08 am 
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he needs to make it possible for us to obtain hand sanitizer and gloves first !!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:08 am 
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The Government are now asking for all these volunteers. Take a look at what they are asking for. People to collect patients from hospitals and take them home. They will give you a mileage allowance. Isn't that what some people have been fighting against for years and now we have thousands of taxi and private hire drivers who have no work to do and instead of asking us they want volunteers to do it.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:39 pm 
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UK government fends off criticism with plan to pay self-employed

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... f-earnings

Rishi Sunak pressured into measures amid fears coronavirus will trigger unemployment crisis

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is expected to announce that the taxpayer will pay self-employed workers up to 80% of their recent earnings to help contain the economic impact of coronavirus, as 470,000 extra benefits claims sparked warnings of an “unemployment crisis”.

Sunak has been under growing pressure to do more for the UK’s 5 million self-employed after announcing an unprecedented job retention scheme for employees last Friday, that will see thousands paid to stay at home.

It comes as Covid-19 claimed the life of a 21-year-old woman from Buckinghamshire, according to her family, and Britain’s deputy ambassador to Hungary, who was 37. The number of confirmed UK cases stood at just over 8,000 on Wednesday night.

The prime minister promised on Wednesday that the government was preparing to “put its arms around every worker.” He said the self-employed would be offered “parity” with employees – though Whitehall sources cautioned that did not mean the two schemes would be identical.

Details of the support package were still being finalised last night, but sources with knowledge of the plan suggested it would echo the promise of covering 80% of recent earnings that Sunak made to employees last week.

It could be subject to a lower cap than the £2,500 in monthly pre-tax income available in that scheme, however – because the self-employed tend to pay less tax. Some groups, including those already claiming universal credit, could be excluded.

Speaking at the daily Downing Street press conference, the prime minister said: “I genuinely don’t think there’s been a time in our history in the last century, certainly, when the government of this country has put its arms around so many people to get us through a very tough time. We will get through it, and we will get through it together.”

Sunak significantly increased the generosity of universal credit as part of last week’s package, and made it available to more self-employed workers.

A sharp surge in claims for universal credit has underlined the severe economic toll the coronavirus is already taking on Britain’s workforce.

The work and pensions secretary, Thérèse Coffey, revealed on Wednesday that 477,000 people had applied for the benefit in the past nine days. That is more than during any entire month of the 2008-09 financial crisis.

“We don’t know if they’re self-employed or at different stages, and I want to assure people that help, even if it’s not currently the level of help they would like, is there to help them through the safety net of the welfare state,” she said.

Karl Handscomb, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The unprecedented surge in new universal credit claims shows that the UK is already in the midst of an unemployment crisis. The increase in claims is putting huge pressure on our social security system, and is driven by a huge hit to family incomes.

“The government was right to increase the generosity of the benefits system last week. It now needs to ensure the resources are there so that claims are processed quickly, and people receive support as soon as possible.”

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is redeploying 10,000 staff to help process the extraordinary upsurge in new applications, making it the department’s main focus in the weeks ahead.

Its permanent secretary, Peter Schofield, said: “We made a decision that managing claims and making payments is a number one priority for DWP. Operationally we can deprioritise other things.”

The department has so far redeployed 1,500 members of staff to help with the sharp rise in universal credit claims, and is to increase this to 3,900 by the end of the week.

The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, who will return to the backbenches in ten days’ time when a new Labour leader takes over, used what is likely to be one of his final speeches from the frontbench to call for the government to announce details of its scheme for supporting self-employed workers urgently.

“If people claim fraudulently while still working, they will rightly be prosecuted. But right now millions of cabbies, childminders, plumbers, electricians, painters and decorators and actors have all lost work or closed down their businesses. As have builders, designated as the self-employed under the construction industry scheme and they have no income. They need a solution, now,” he said.

Meanwhile businesses continued to demand clarity about who can keep travelling to work, as firms called for workers to come in despite Monday’s plea by the prime minister for the nation to “stay at home”.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, tweeted: “It’s clear that many firms do not know whether to stay open or to close.” She said she would meet the business secretary and request better guidance.

The warnings come amid widespread confusion among businesses about how to respond to the lockdown. Halfords, the car parts, bike and servicing group, is reopening some of its stores this week after being designated an essential service. It had closed its shops on Monday night as Johnson addressed the nation.

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct retail chain had intended to remain open but was forced to backtrack after a public outcry.

Frances O’Grady, the director general of the TUC, said the government needed to crack down on non-essential companies making staff attend work, telling ministers they needed to directly intervene if employers flouted the rules.

“Companies like Sports Direct shouldn’t be putting their profits before people’s lives. No one in non-essential services should be forced to go to work. And no one should be sacked for following official instructions and staying home,” she said.

Off-licences and other shops licensed to sell alcohol are now allowed to stay open, after an 11th-hour change, while several companies are lobbying ministers to be allowed special treatment.

The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, called for tough enforcement action against companies forcing their staff to travel to work in non-essential jobs during the lockdown.

“This is wrong. It’s risking the health of workers, their families and wider society. In the absence of a clear government instruction to end non-essential work I am taking legal advice about whether Greater Manchester police or other agencies can take enforcement action against companies which are exposing their employees in this way.”


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:40 pm 
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Quote:
Details of the support package were still being finalised last night, but sources with knowledge of the plan suggested it would echo the promise of covering 80% of recent earnings that Sunak made to employees last week.

'Earnings' will mean net profit rather than turnover, no doubt. So in effect you'll be fine as regards variable costs like fuel (because you won't be using any), but not covered with regard to fixed costs like insurance and licensing (there may be savings with regard to licensing if councils extend licence durations without additional charge, say, but this will depend on each local authority. But I doubt there will be any savings as regards insurance premiums - in fact I wouldn't be surprised if they went up.)

And it's obviously 80% of profit rather than the full monty.

But if that's it and I'm eligible then I'll be more than happy =D>

But we'll see tomorrow, no doubt 8-[


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:58 pm 
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Should have also mentioned settle or rent, which is obviously important to many drivers.

Of course, if you had to continue paying that then that would be a real bummer because you wouldn't be getting it back via the scheme.

But since I assume most bets are off as regards 'settle' then it becomes a variable cost rather than fixed, so not really relevant to whether the Government recompenses you for it.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:12 am 
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I can see a good chunk of anything I get going to my leasing company.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:54 am 
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If you are paying a company for radio rent then surely as it stands if you are not working or not earning enough to cover the bill, you would hand the radio back anyway.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:56 pm 
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grandad wrote:
If you are paying a company for radio rent then surely as it stands if you are not working or not earning enough to cover the bill, you would hand the radio back anyway.

Indeed, but I'm sure we're all aware of drivers who are forced to pay settle during holidays, illness or while car off the road, etc etc.

Of course, this is a bit different, and uncharted territory, and all bets are off, effectively, as I said earlier.

And while bad operators may have a lot of power over individual drivers in more normal circumstances, the sheer number involved here who can't/won't pay rent or settle probably puts the ball more in the drivers' court.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:14 pm 
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edders23 wrote:
I still think some sort of retainer if you cannot or agree not to work is best
Do you mean a retainer for all the folks who have not declared enough earnings?

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