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Government Promises That Help is Coming for the Self-Employed

Following intense lobbying from the MU and others, the Government has today promised that the self-employed have not been forgotten and that ‘help is coming’.

Downing street sign
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has said that that there will be further announcements to come in the next few days. Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has said that the Government is looking in intense detail at providing help for the self-employed and that there will be further announcements to come in the next few days.

Many of the MU’s friends in parliament spoke during the debate and urged the Chancellor to act as soon as possible. The Chancellor acknowledged the need for speed but said that although he hoped to be able to announce plans in the coming days, the implementation of the scheme may take longer as it would be complex to organise.

He also confirmed that the Government is not in favour of universal basic income and that it was aiming to target help at those self-employed people who had lost income, rather than those whose income had not been affected by the crisis.

Write to your MP

It is more important than ever that you write to your MP and let them know why it is so vital that they vote to pass this amendment.

Email your MP using Write to Them

If you’re not sure what to say, here is something to get you started.

Please ask the Prime Minister to:

  • Implement a Universal Basic Income of £400 per week for the self employed (which equates to the living wage) OR, as in Norway, pay them 80% of their average income over the past three years. 
  • Announce statutory sick pay that is really for all from day one of self isolation whether you have coronavirus or someone in your household does 
  • Give easier access to benefits and an application process that recognises how freelancers pay their taxes 

I also ask that you contact the Musicians’ Union’s Head of Government Relations Isabelle Gutierrez for more about the challenges COVID-19 is presenting me and other freelancers, and what else you can do to support us. 

Remember to explain how coronavirus is already affecting you, and how it will affect you in the next few months.  

Personal stories really do help – they show MPs the truth of the situation and give them case studies to show Government that it is urgent.


Published: 24/03/2020

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