Help the self employed

I am going to submit my scheme to help the self employed to the Treasury again, as we have still not had an announcement from them.

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  1. JoolsB
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Thank you John and Good luck as it really does feel at the moment as though this Government have thrown 5 million self employed to the wolves.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink


      And good luck JoolsB

      • JoolsB
        Posted March 24, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Mark B

  2. Alan Jutson
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Why is it that the most entrepreneurial people in our society are often left to fend for themselves, and are the last to get any support, but often the first in line for controls

    Given these people have to think outside the box on a day – day basis, do not be surprised at what they may get up to in an attempt to survive.

    All of a sudden they will become an on line businesses enabling them to try to carry on trading as much as possible., being able to deliver products and services.

    Emergency plumbers, carpenters, roofers, electricians, breakdown service, etc, etc.

    Thought we were supposed to be all in this together.!

    Been retired for years now so will not affect me but that is not the point.

    Thank you for your attempts JR.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      “Why is it that the most entrepreneurial people in our society are often left to fend for themselves”

      They are the least likely to be manipulated and accept the man in the mirror is responsible. That don’t have the ‘give me’ gene

      • Mark B
        Posted March 24, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        True !

    • Andy
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      That is precisely the point. You have been retired for years – so financially it ‘will not affect you’.

      It will affect me and we ARE entrepreneurial. Our company directly employs 30 people. It has been profitable and successful for years. But our customers have been told to stay away. There are none left and while some of our work can be done online most of it cannot. This has happened in 10 days.

      So as a business we now have the choice, within the next two weeks or so, of sacking our loyal staff. Or of risking a default on our mortgage which could see us lose our home. The government scheme mitigate this a bit but not much.

      So, financially, I really wish we were all in this together. But we are not. One again the home-owning Baby Boomers with their gold plated final salary pension schemes, multiple state handout and guarantees state pension are really not in it financially at all. You are shielded from it all. And your generation has the most too. This cannot be right.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted March 25, 2020 at 1:51 am | Permalink


        I was self employed for 20 years, before running my own business for 30 years, so I am fully aware of the entrepreneurial nature of such people, just because you are retired it does not mean you then think differently.

        Just for info:
        I do not have a gold plated pension made up with company contributions, my pension fund was made up out of my own contributions, then lost 50% of it when Equitable Life got into trouble, compensation from the Government after 10 years of waiting was a total of £535 (paid out as a lump sum).

        I am presently the fundraising Chairman for a voluntary local charity organisation to which I have been a member for 30 years, I pay a yearly membership fee for the privilege to belong to that organisation, where we pay our own expenses, so please do not try and insult people out of hand.

        You will eventually reach retirement agenda perhaps after a long working life you will gain rather more rounded view of life.

        I wish you good health for the future, but I really do hope your attitude to others changes over the coming years.

        Never know one day you may need some help from others.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted March 25, 2020 at 1:57 am | Permalink

          Oops predictive text again “agenda” should read “age”.

          Hope your company will benefit from the Governments compensation scheme to help pay some of your Company employees, so that they remain in work.

          Also hope that the scheme will eventually help those self employed who have so far been left to fend for themselves.

      • graham1946
        Posted March 25, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        You’ve been threatening to sack these 30 mythical staff for many months. The last time was if we had the temerity to defy you and leave the EU. Well we have, so what happened? Still more bigoted rubbish from the ‘make up stuff’ champion’ who does not even talk to his own mother because she had a different point of political view. Get back to us when the firing starts and don’t forget if you don’t go bust you are personally liable for all the redundancy money, probably the thick end of 50 grand, but that should be no problem for a high flyer like you.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 25, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        I feel sympathy for your business difficulties.
        I know many dancing similar problems.
        But railing against retired people is wrong.
        Many retired people are very poor.
        Try living on the state pension as many do.
        Try working in tough tiring jobs in your seventies because you really need the money.

        Few out if the total have gold plated final salary pensions.

        Hand outs…those of current working age have child benefit, free education for their children, working tax credits, housing benefits, much lower income tax rates than we had, much lower mortgage interest rates than we had and low inflation.

        And of course the epidemic is very dangerous for the elderly.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 25, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          dancing…..should say facing…

    • Fred H
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Alan – but it will affect you and most of us. There are dozens of jobs, skilled and not so skilled done by self employed. The broad population needs them to function. If more and more millions start feeling the pinch, unable to pay for the work, the self employed will become the new unemployed.

      • glen cullen
        Posted March 24, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        I agree with your assessment the affects are real and happening now

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted March 25, 2020 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Yes it will affect me in general terms, and I an very concerned about my children/family as are most of us.

        But as far as work is concerned I fortunately do not have that worry, but I am certainly concerned about people who have.

    • acorn
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      The vast majority of the self employed since the 2008 crash, are not entrepreneurs, they just work for themselves and don’t employ anyone.

      The problem HMRC has is they don’t know what a person who claims to be self employed, real, total income is; particularly those that take dividend income and those that always pay with cash on nights out. Self employed’s tax returns tend to be, let’s say, a bit iffy.

      IR35 is trying to level the tax playing field but the solution to the self employed taxing problem lies in the VAT registration system.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 24, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Err, if you work for yourself your are self employed.

      • Mark B
        Posted March 25, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

        HMRC will get its pound of flesh no matter what. What they want is for everyone to pay as much in as possible to keep the ponzi scheme going.

  3. Iain Gill
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 8:00 am | Permalink


    Government is going to have to make an example of bosses of sports direct for staying open.

    • jerry
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      @Iain Gill; Hopefully the public, and investors, will do that post crisis, just as they did with Ratners, no one and no one company are to big to fail.

    • glen cullen
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Why shouldn’t it stay open all other businesses are open….all we’re doing is making people unemployed

      If its okay to continue using a post office or a supermarket or petrol station or public transport if you stay 2 meters apart why oh why isn’t okay to buy sports goods under the same conditions

      • Mark B
        Posted March 25, 2020 at 6:37 am | Permalink

        I think it is about limiting risk. But the risk to healthy people is less that it us for older people and that should be the deciding factor.

        • glen cullen
          Posted March 25, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

          anecdotal evidence might suggest that elderly visit post office, while the fit and well visit sport shops

  4. Sakara Gold
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    None of this would have been necessary, had the WHO (overwhelmingly funded by the Chinese communist regime) not recommended in early January that “it was not necessary to ban international travel” after observing “the situation is under control in China”

    The world’s leaders failed to review this recomendation with a critical eye and so imported the Chinese plague virus into their countries. I recall our hapless Health Secretary Matt Hancock pronouncing two weeks ago ” we will not be stopping flights from Italy….”

    To put this into context, Bloomberg TV at the weekend noted that the China Mobile company, based in Beijing, reported that they had lost 6.112 million subscribers from 1st Jan to 18th Feb 2020. 6.112 million!

    I wonder where they went, to another provider? Another reason not to believe anything the Chinese regime says about their epidemic

    The government’s science led approach to this has failed because we did not close our borders a month ago when it would have made a difference. We failed to test enough contacts. We failed to enforce the necessary quarrantine for the contacts of those that did get tested. We left our schools etc open. In spite of assurances from the Health Minister, there was not and is not enough PPE for the nurses and now they are a source of community transmission, as they go to the supermarkets after their shifts

    If our government taken the unpleasant but now necessary extreme measures to protect the public earlier, we may have slowed the progress of this awful epidemic. We should bring in experts from Taiwan, S Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore to advise on this and treble our financial contribution to devop and test new vaccines and treatment drugs

  5. Ian @Barkham
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    My understanding is that the Government/Chancellor in assessing self employed earnings is that we are measured at least 12 months behind. As in the current assessment period is up to April 2019.

    Circumstances change, earnings change so what ever happens there is no way in any judgement could be fair and equal across the whole spectrum, as last year is different to this.

    Maybe not for all, but for most of the self employed (me included) submitting a tax return for 2019/2020 by the end of the April is very straight forward. It is called computerization. Other wise like me it is just left in the to do box until a bit later in the year.

    While my income has now basically stopped and will not return for the foreseeable future. I am not comfortable with it but will do my bit of being holed for the duration. The challenge is as we have seen is food (as in the basics). Despite all the assurances there is no such thing as home delivery. How could their be, previously just 5% of total spend how can that double, treble, quadruple over night – its an impractical suggestion. The mayhem at the supermarkets I would guess is that the same people are doing the rounds of all of them just to get the basics to be able to isolate for a short while.

    No one is to blame, it is just the situation we find ourselves in because of this dreaded virus. The only hind sight thought is that if the shutters had gone up as soon as the first case was identified we might just have got away with it – society is no longer built for that.

    Keep safe, distance means distance.

  6. agricola
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Long overdue John. Remember the Treasuries salaries and pensions are paid irrespective of performance. Paid I might add by the taxes paid by the self employed and everyone else. The self employed are in part the seed corn. Once you destroy that how do you recover.

    • agricola
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      There seems to be a lot of manufactured or imagined difficulty in identifying those who are entitled to financial support if and when their employer ceases operating. The employer knows who they are as does the tax office and the national insurance office. The employer should be able to transfer these employees to a support register that allows the paying agency to respond.

      The self employed, who can no longer work, could make this known to HMRC and HMRC could take responsibility for paying them whatever their entitlement is. HMRC can confirm from their own records everything they need to know about a claimant.

      The only people not covered are either in the black economy or they are covered by all the unemployment benefits system or the income support system.

      Perhaps this pandemic will motivate rapid positive solutions for all those who sleep on the streets.

      I see no administrative reasons why government cannot respond to all these categories of potential claimants and rapidly. We do not wish to see the sensible response of government defeated by a bureaucratic balls up.

      • glen cullen
        Posted March 25, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        agree….its only hard if we make it hard

  7. Anonymous
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Vitally important to help the self employed and those of us still working should be prepared to share and support as long as we can.

    I am bothered that the underclass could soon turn into lawless mob as they don’t know how to manage money or food.

    Of all the epidemiology studies I have seen none – not one – includes the mortality rate owing to a collapsed economy due to their recommendations. Though terrible this isn’t quite ebola.

    We should have isolated the vulnerable, scrapped HS2 and used that money to pay for their assistants for 18 months. Alas here we are.

    Jeremy Clarkson has it right here

    Anyway. All this negativity is going to kill me if CV doesn’t. So I’m off to happy and funny blogs from now on ***”Thank God for that !” goes the crowd****

    I wish everyone the very best of luck, strength and fortitude.

    I thank our host for all his good works and wish him well too.

    • glen cullen
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      and in other silly news my local refuse/recycling centre has closed….wait for it…due to coronavirus

      Next the binmen will stop collecting and we will start to get other infections

      We are creating problems and issues that appear to be media led

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 24, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        Don’t be silly.

        The centres are closed because people congregate there.

        They do not around refuse trucks.

        • glen cullen
          Posted March 25, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

          All the refuse bays are at least a car length

          I’ve visited my centre every 2 weeks for a number of years the distance between people has always been greater than 2 meters

          People congregate there ? its not a pub

  8. Yorkie
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    That may get my previously mentioned Brexit voter neighbour now anti Boris and how, back on ship

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    This is certainly needed urgently.

    Posted March 24, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    SE people make up 15% of the UK labour market. State employees make up 16.5% of the UK’s labour market. The former asks for NOTHING and holds zero political leverage over government policy while the latter demands EVERYTHING and strike if they don’t get it.

    It is my belief that this PM’s actions are driven by political pressure from the leftist public sector. This pressure is constantly imposed by Labour’s network of allies such as the unions, activist groups and the infection of the corridors of power by leftist pressure groups

    There is no balance today from your party. You have been captured and are held to ransom and it’s disheartening to say the least. I know something, all that leftist tosh we’ve seen since 2010 wouldn’t have happened with a proper Tory party in Parliament

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Dominic, 93% of the public approve of the Government’s latest measures according to a Curtis poll.

      Your minority is over-represented on the internet yet again, however.

      It’s clear that some people are falling through the cracks, much as always in emergencies.

      Greatly as I oppose Conservative rule, I do not think that they are conspiring against that group.

      If you want to torment yourself by imagining these sorts of things then please, go ahead, on the other hand.

  11. ukretired123
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Thank you SJR as it’s a very important sector as these folks show great initiative and survive only on their wits against all the odds and are absolutely the keys drivers in modern advanced countries like USA , Canada , NZ / Oz etc.

    They have to perform well, provide Solutions to diverse problems and only paid by results!
    They are hired or fired if they don’t deliver – the exact opposite of the bureaucracies that stifle them.

    I am retired but after 20 years feel it is necessary to explain they are little understood and undermined by the big consultancy firms who lobby govt.

    I would strongly recommend they use any slack time to learn new skills to add and complement them especially project management and the govt help them too.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Yes, it’s a rough deal for them.

      They need to organise, to syndicalise, form co-operatives where possible, and become a collective force.

      However, too many in this country refuse to embrace the virtue of solidarity, and instead rely upon cynicism.

  12. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    This is really not complicated. Take 80% of last year’s SAR income and divide by 12 to give the monthly amount.

    Sceptics might say the self employed can continue working and pile up income later. Well that will come out in the wash, as they pay tax later on the extra. If they take cash, they won’t qualify on that basis, anyway. The only possible leakage would be self employed who convert from taking SAR money previously to taking cash now, and frankly that would only be those working for private clients which has all but been banned.

    There seems to be an anti-self employed head of steam in the Treasury, proven by this inaction. Who can blame the self-employed for not feeling protected by the system in future if this goes on?

    • glen cullen
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      That isnt a measure of income, Self Assessment (annual accounts) are a measure of activity assets and health of an organisation just like a Ltd company

      Income can only be measured as ‘daily rate’ of pay issued via an invoice

      People employed have a daily rate of pay so do the self employed

  13. Peter Wood
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Why is our Prime Minister being ignored? I watched his presentation yesterday, he was certainly trying to convey a sense of seriousness and urgency. What is missing, IMHO, was a change of persona. BJ has created a jovial, comedic, attractive character; this is how we see the PM. This needs to change. When he comes in front of the cameras, he must look different from that which he has espoused so far.
    He needs to change his look, smarted-up and wear well cut suits. He must standup straight and speak directly and with gravity, no arm waving or gazing around. Get someone to write better speeches. No smirking. All this can be achieved quickly with an expert in the field.

    • Andy
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      He has spent his career clowning around, telling jokes and having an open relationship with the truth. Why are you surprised people now don’t take him seriously?

      • Edward2
        Posted March 24, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        He is popular with the voters and gained a huge majority in the general election and polls high figures as leader.
        Old Mr Corbyn has one of the lowest satisfaction ratings of any labour leader in history.
        Lib Dems are polling very badly too.

        • jerry
          Posted March 24, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2; No, ‘we’ did not vote for Boris, other than those Tory voters who live in the constituency he is the MP for, all other people voted for their local MP and their party manifesto. Why do you always have such difficulty understanding how our democracy works?

          • Edward2
            Posted March 24, 2020 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

            What complete nonsense Jerry.
            We voted and we elected a Conservative Government with a huge majority of 80.
            If you didn’t then that is your decision and your democratic right.
            Democracy doesn’t work the say you think that’s for sure.

          • jerry
            Posted March 25, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; You really do struggle when it comes to elections and democracy!

            “We voted and we elected a Conservative Government”

            Except that is not what you originally asserted was it, that we voted for Boris. “He is popular with the voters and gained a huge majority in the general election”.

            Had the UK voted as a whole for a majority LibDems government in 2020, but Scotland not, we would not have Jo Swinton as the PM would we, well not until she had first won a by-election.

            Also do not under estimate the possibility of voters opting for the least worst option, other parties loosing an election rather than the majority party “winning”.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 25, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

            No I dont struggle with democracy Jerry.

            We had leadership debates in the last elections.
            The leaders went head to head for voters to consider which person they thought would make a good Prime Minister.

            I did not say we voted for Boris.
            You said that.

            Although many voters will have decided that is the main reason they decided to vote Conservative instead of for Corbyn as polls after the election showed.

            I realise you and many other voters may decide to vote for a particular local candidate or you might decide to vote for a particular policy being offered by a particular political party that is important to you.
            But when all the votes are counted and all the MPs are elected, a single party usually gains a majority and the leader of that party becomes Prime Minister

            But lets go back and read Andy’s post.
            He was saying he thought Boris was poor.
            I simply pointed out he had good ersonal ratings in recent polls.

          • jerry
            Posted March 26, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Please point you where on the ballot paper for the 2019 general election there was the following question/ tick-boxes;

            Who do you want as Prime Minster?
            [ ] Boris Johnson
            [ ] Jeremy Corbyn
            [ ] Jo Swinson
            [ ] Nigel Farage

            We do not elect our PMs in the UK like other countries elect president, the leader of the majority party might even loose their own seat and thus not be able to be the PM eve n though his or her party are invited to form the govt.

            No one voted for Boris, or anyone else for that matter, to be Prime Minster, FACT.

            Also what polls are you referring to, the ones that asked salaried staff is they approve of Boris, or the one that asked the self employed if they approve of Boris?!

            Ask 1000 people the same question get 999 totally different opinions with two people in agreement and thus a poll ‘majority’. Then of course who commissioned the opinion poll also gets to choose the question(s)…

            As I said, Edward2 you struggle with understanding even the most basic facts when it comes to democracy (and opinion polls), either that or you just like wasting our hosts time.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 26, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

            Hi Jerry
            Keeping busy I see.

            As I said my response was to Andy who criticised Mr Johnson.
            I said in my reply that he was popular according to various recent polls.

            The Conservative party with him as leader did very well in the recent general election.

            Try to avoid personal attacks Jerry
            It only makes you look bad.

        • Andy
          Posted March 24, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

          As the number of body bags goes up Johnson’s polling numbers and tbt number of jobs will be go down.

          He will not be so popular when people see his incompetence has cost lives. Which it has.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 25, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

            His personal ratings on his handling of the crisis are very good and going up..
            Far higher figures than people feel old Mr Corbyn or whoever leads the Lib Dems would deal with it.
            Still angry because you lost the election and the referendum.

        • bill brown
          Posted March 26, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

          one bad PM and no opposition worth talking about does not amount to political system that we should be proud of

    • jerry
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      @Peter Wood; The PM would need a total make-over! Sorry but I do not think it possible. I’ve suggested in other comments that either Rabb takes over or we have an official spokesperson for the duration, just as we had during the Falklands war.

      We need concise facts and instructions, not pointless retelling of what we either already know or is blindingly obvious – in other words no more waff……

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Some people cannot help but be what they are – maybe that’s just what he is after all?

      • Edward2
        Posted March 24, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        The left hate him.
        Always a good sign.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted March 24, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

          Some do, but generally perhaps not as much as you like to imagine.

          He did manage to get elected in London to be its mayor after all.

        • bill brown
          Posted March 25, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          Wrong not always a good sign, he is an remains not eligible to be PM

          • Edward2
            Posted March 25, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

            Why is Boris not eligible to be PM?
            He is PM.

  14. George Brooks.
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    The fishermen may well need a special scheme as whilst they are technically self employed they are paid on a share of the catch. I gather their market has shrunk by over 60% almost over night and for some fish the wholesale price has dropped 50%

    Both crew and skipper/owner will suffer and the owner/skipper will need a long break in the payment cycle for his boat as almost without exception they are bought on HP with costs in the hundreds of thousands. Also tax/duty on fuel needs a similar holiday if we want a fishing fleet after this virus

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Just ordered some Cornish fish online for the first time.

      We need to create an efficient streamlined system for getting UK sovereign caught catch to UK sovereign subjects. This is an opportunity coming out of adversity. When we take back control of our waters on 31/12, we need the food and the fishermen need that market here in the UK.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 24, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        I’m sure that’s just what the millions wondering how they will be able to pay their bills and keep their homes are thinking too, Joey.

        Just can’t get it out of my mind either.

        You have your finger right on the pulse of public concerns, clearly.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 24, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

          Cheap enough Martin.
          Cheaper than over priced foodstuffs from the protectionist EU
          CAP adds over £25 a week to UK shopping Bill’s.

          • bill brown
            Posted March 26, 2020 at 4:29 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            I should have used the word suitable for Boris as PM

          • Edward2
            Posted March 26, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

            Well many obviously do think Boris is suitable to be leader of the Conservative party and many do think he is suitable to be Prime Minister.
            Currently he has very good personal poll ratings far higher than other political party leaders.
            But you will have another general election in just a few years bill, where you can cast your vote.

      • dixie
        Posted March 25, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        Useful tip – while the government flounders over the self employed.

        There is no lack of examples of large scale on-line markets and this could be applied to any foodstuffs. Supermarkets already support this functionally though the recent issues with some suggest they are not able to successfully scale for demand.

        A shame as this is provides an effective way to ration goods in such extreme situations which also emphasize why we must once again become less reliant on foreign manufacturers and goods.

  15. graham1946
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I heard on radio this morning that Michael Gove said that Rishi Sunak will be addressing this matter this afternoon, so hopefully all will work out fairly.

    • jerry
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Well at HMT questions, currently, the Chancellor’s attitude was basically ‘Jam Tomorrow’ for the self employed…

      • glen cullen
        Posted March 24, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        ‘Jam Tomorrow’ is indeed an apt phrase and an accurate description of current events

        Jam tomorrow wont pay for the council tax, utility bills, vehicle tax, insurance bills etc etc that are due this month

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Rishi Sunak says this is difficult because they’re relying on SARs which are 18 months’ old. If they’ve entered an SAR for 2018-19 by 30 December 2019, per HMRC regulations, then their figures are frankly less than 12 months old.

      I can see no problem with taking those figures as a benchmark, providing outstanding tax has been met per end July, end January etc.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted March 24, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Sorry online SAR deadline 31 January 2020, but the sense of the comment remains unaltered.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted March 24, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

          The “excuse” by Sunak that some self-employed people might be enjoying more income now just doesn’t wash!!!

          If it turns out they earned substantially more in 2020-21 than in 2019-20 then claw the support back plus taxes!!!

          We are at an ideal time of year within 2 weeks of the end of tax year to implement this!!

    • gregory martin
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      While we wait, reflect upon the option to compound the last three years self employed taxed income with this and next years income, while permitting the offset of total qualifying expenses, a rebate of ‘excess’ tax paid (quarterly), as if PAYE, and the suspension of current year assessments, which are invariably optimystic.Simply done on a spreadsheet.

      • glen cullen
        Posted March 24, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        The government doesn’t rely upon a large companies set of accounts when determining to rate nor eligibility to receive staff safe guarding funding

        So why are the government using accounts to determine self employed safe guarding funding

        Employed staff have pay-slip which states income and self employed have an invoice which states income

        • a-tracy
          Posted March 24, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          Your business has to be viable glen if sme’s don’t have cash up front they won’t be around to make a furlough claim for pay next month. It’s not clear exactly when the government are repaying the bill. It is very unclear for business.

          Plus every month Glen the government has digital paye information transmitted to them for every employer, detailing every 1p of tax, employees ni and employers ni all 48.5% tax of it at basic rate over the lower earnings levels. VAT businesses have to electronically submit their VAT quarterly so they do track most businesses.

          • glen cullen
            Posted March 24, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

            I agree with everything you’ve stated but my point was about how the government will/should determine the income of the self employed

  16. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Heard on the radio this morning that “our bodies are now potential murder weapons” – -and this was coming from someone who was about to go into Parliament to vote.

    The mass hysteria hype rolls on.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it’s nearly as silly as “we are ruled by an unelected fascist dictatorship in Brussels”.

      People generally should weigh their words.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 25, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      Isn’t there a law against spreading malicious gossip in order to create panic and fear ?

  17. ChrisS
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    As I mentioned recently, many buy-to-let landlords are in a much more difficult position than I am and if their tenants in receipt of housing benefit don’t pass it on, they will be unable to pay their mortgages on the property, yet will be unable to evict their tenant.

    I would urge you to ask the government to change the system so that where a landlord reports that rent is unpaid, future housing benefit payments are automatically transferred direct to the landlord.

  18. dixie
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Thank you, this is desperately urgent.

    I brought forward some roofing work thinking it would help keep a small business afloat. Unfortunately the roofers and scaffolders that do the work are sub-contracted self-employed (sole traders) so whilst I have kept them in work for a week+ and they have one more job this week, that’s it. Their materials supplier has suspended trading and so they will be without any income and frankly the statutory sick pay is too low.

    If we truly are in all this together then they need help in some form.

    In the meantime a good antibody test is needed just as much as a cure to get these people back to work.

  19. ed2
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Thankyou John

  20. Tim
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Thank you.

  21. Anonymous
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Any chief police officer who broadcasts that he won’t be able to deal with crime because of under resourcing needs to be sacked without pension immediately.

    This is highly dangerous talk when decent menfolk are already off the streets. It is undermining the government campaign.

    Policing was only ever an illusion.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Indeed in all my dealing with reporting crimes and suffering crimes over the last 20 years at my home to my cars and at my businesses I always got the impression the police were not remotely interest in doing anything (even when plenty of evidence was available). It was invariably a waste of your time even ringing them unless you need a form for the insurance.

      This is unless of course is it is something trivial they can fine you for like an MOT that ran out two days ago or something. They even “announced and publicised” that for shoplifting under £100 they will do nothing to encourage it I assume. How many shoplifts of £100 each can one do in day?

    • Lester Beedell
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink


      Stop focusing on Hate Crime and other PC nonsense and return to what the police should be doing
      Catching criminals

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted March 24, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Rather, as Peter Hitchens points out, on deterring crime with a visible presence, so that fewer criminals need catching, and there is less crime per se.

        • Fred H
          Posted March 24, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          as citizens we see crime all the time – waste of time trying to get anything done.

      • Andy
        Posted March 24, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Hate crime is a crime. Why don’t you want police to deal with it? Is it because it’s a crime which you, mistakenly, believe may never affect you?

        • Edward2
          Posted March 24, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          Hurt feelings and being offended isn’t a crime.

          Nearly 900 officers diverted on this, from proper Policing in London.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted March 24, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

            But that is not what the police investigate when properly doing their jobs.

            There is plenty of crime, such as assault and murder, which has as its motive nothing more than hatred of a particular class of person to which the victim belonged.

            That is what the police investigate as hate crime, and quite right too.

            The tiny number of cases of their having belaboured someone for no more than freedom of speech were policing errors, but highly publicised ones.

            Still, that publicity worked on you.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 25, 2020 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

            You need to read what constitutes a hate crime.
            Just the accusation of someone who feels offended.
            That is it.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 25, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            You are talking about physical attacks which are motivated by hatred of other people.
            Two very different things.

        • gregory martin
          Posted March 24, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

          Ageism is a crime too,’ harassment, alarm or distress ‘ .Await the knock on your door.

        • MWB
          Posted March 24, 2020 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          Then why have you not been arrested.

  22. Chris
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    When considering aid for the Self Employed, please do not forget those many thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of us who are obliged to run a ‘personal service company’ by customers who are afraid of being caught for tax and NI when hiring temporary contract staff.

    Work has totally dried up for mine, (most services have to be rendered ‘on site’), but I am its Director not an employee, and I am not paid a salary since often there is no money to pay a regular monthly income, usually because customers are taking sixty-plus days credit. So I just take dividends when I can.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Also means you haven’t paid NI (that’s National Insurance) on those dividends. Also if you haven’t taken a regular income in the past, then I guess you don’t need one now?

      Sorry, limited sympathy here.

      • glen cullen
        Posted March 24, 2020 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        You pay tax on dividends not NI

        And by other arrangement you pay your NI stamp

  23. Christine
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Look to amend the HMRC Tax Credit computer system. This is already set up to pay the self employed top-up income and can link into their previous earnings to assess their need. Clone the current computer system and strip out what isn’t required. This used to be done when DWP paid Tax Credits when the Government wanted to trial a scheme in a particular area.

  24. Lester Beedell
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Presumably the current crisis signals the end of HS2 and Net Zero so something of benefit will emerge?

    • glen cullen
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Agree but please include scraping foreign aid

  25. bill brown
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    we need to support the self employed now

  26. Iain Gill
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I had to laugh at the Chancellor saying in parliament that they are in dialog with “stakeholder groups” re the self employed measures they are working on.

    Its been clear for a long time (IR35 etc) that they have NO LINKS WHATSOEVER into the majority community of freelancers, who are open in their disgust on the various specialist web forums. And the trade unions and labour party even less so.

    Maybe one learning from this whole mess is that government really needs to try harder to get links out into that community. The top of the civil service, political class, trade unions, lobbyists, are all so badly mistaken.

    Ah well, stay safe.

    • Alan Macdonald
      Posted March 27, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink


      Great post!

      I wonder how many of our MPs come from a long-term self-employed background? Somewhere between very few and zero, I venture. Possibly self-employed people should all club together and declare:
      “No taxation without representation!”

      Keep laughing!


  27. a-tracy
    Posted March 24, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    I know lots of self-employed people who have taken on temporary work at supermarkets. Why don’t the supermarkets engage some laid-off self-employed drivers with vans to do their home deliveries on a daily rate? Why don’t the government put a link out to cut the requirements for benefits for so many people who are able to work in these essential key roles.

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 24, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      Refrigeration of vans could be an issue for fridge goods, drivers would have to go out for no more than 30-60 minutes before returning for their next postcode route.

  28. MartinH
    Posted March 25, 2020 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Please do support the self employed all that you can. Ours is a small leisure industry business, we’re a self-employed partnership that also provides part time and occasional work to a small events team. We have done the right thing; we closed down our operations before we were required to, because we had a professional responsibility to those who attend our events. And we want to continue doing the right thing; to stay home and respect the lockdown until it’s safe for us to operate again. But our revenue has fallen to zero since the start of this month, and that is not going to change as long as we cannot run our events or give people confidence that our future events will be able to go ahead. The nature of our business means that we operate from offices in our respective homes, rather than a commercial premises, so as far as I can tell, we don’t qualify for the grants to businesses eligible for small business rate relief (even though we are exactly the kind of small leisure industry business I think the grant was designed to help). Also, being self employed, we don’t have the same promise of income protection that those in PAYE employment have. At the moment, our only option appears to be to run out of money and then claim benefits, and if it gets to that, it’s going to be hard to restart our business at all. People in our position need to have the same support as other businesses of our size, or PAYE employees.

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 25, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      Martin, not everyone in PAYE employment has income protection, it depends on changes to their contract, their sme’s ability to pay them in advance, many sme’s like you have run out of money, zero turnover, so how can they pay the pay bill for everyone?

      As for business grants they are limited, not all business types can claim them, you have to be a profitable concern and pass a viability test.

      Employers have always paid 13.8% national insurance on top of their employees 12% ni from the lel. Perhaps the deal will be if you’ve paid ir35 + full NI you should be able to claim based on your proven cancelled bookings or previous two years taxable income.

      You pay tax annually not monthly, you will be able to offset losses for the year ending March 2020 against the previous 11 months profit. You must have put money aside for your tax bill, employees get 32% taken monthly. Self employed people are taxed as if it were their income you don’t pay tax twice whereas in an sme with a couple of staff if you put reserves up you pay corporation tax on the profits you don’t take out as earnings. The government isn’t paying sme’s 80% of their profits it’s paying 80% of the salary bill (not sure whether they’re covering gross or net yet it’s not been explained. Are the government expecting the nest payment and employers ni to be paid on top – there isn’t any information so don’t suggest employers are getting it easy when they’re not! Not only do they have to worry about themselves they have other people to worry about too. And seeing the likes of Shakribati on the news criticising employers she needs to get off her fat taxpayers salary and build a business and pay everyone herself! Make some sacrifices drawing money from a quango, charity is no sacrifice at all. I hope all the public sector workers who have been furloughed are on the same 80% max payment ONLY

  29. a-tracy
    Posted March 25, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    I know self-employed people who took a deposit for forward bookings, half the price of the job, who are forcing their client to lose their deposit if they cancel because of the pandemic, so if the government bail them out can people take them to court for their deposit back?

  30. Alan Macdonald
    Posted March 26, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Moderator, Please would you remove my 5.28 pm post? Thank you.

    • Alan Macdonald
      Posted March 27, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Sir John,

      It is a challenge but I am trying to maintain a sense of humour! The Chancellor’s package of support for the self-employed brought demonstrated this government’s real beliefs. Rather than:
      “From everyone according to their means to everyone according to their need” it is
      “From everyone according to their means to everyone according to their tax return”.

      There has been a long held principle in life assurance that everyone has an infinite interest in their own life and do not need to prove it. The same principle should apply here. We all have an equal and infinite right to earn a living, to go dating, to meet friends, to travel. In this time of emergency, rightly or wrongly, the government has suspended these rights. Fair enough. But the government should now support us equally, and quickly.

      A Universal Basic Wage paid speedily and without fuss to everyone with a National Insurance number is the only solution that would come close to meeting this need.

      Could I also comment in passing that no one asked to see my tax returns when I signed up to be a NHS Volunteer Responder?

      Thank you for this opportunity to be heard and keep up your great work!

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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