26 March 2020

Welcome news to support the self employed

The Chancellor has announced a range of packages to support the self-employed, which mirrors the offering made to directly employed workers.

The scheme’s eligibility is for anyone earning less than £50,000, is based on the last three years tax returns and covers 80% of profits, up to £2,500. HMRC will directly contact those who are eligible.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB), said: “This hugely welcomed news will support millions of self-employed workers and delivers a message that the Government really does believe we are all in this together.

It was also positive to see the Chancellor respond to our requests to ensure medium sized businesses can access the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF). Some of our members were too large for the small business loan but too small to be investment grade rated.”

Industry was also buoyed by the announcement that the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) will suspend its levy payments for the next three months.

The NFB also recognises the importance of increasing business cash flow and has also decided to suspend its direct debit membership payments, for the next two months.

Where industry will remain concerned is the lack of clarity around whether the construction industry can continue operating.

Beresford continued: “We need the Prime Minister to come out and explicitly say that construction can continue if they are able to operate safely. This will instil confidence in the industry, reassure merchants they can reopen and allow businesses that are able to adhere to site operating procedures, to continue operating.”