The response continued: “Secondly, you write that, ‘You do not think that it is right to describe those people as excluded’. The word ‘excluded’ means ‘to be denied access to a place, group or privilege’, and that is exactly what has happened here.
“It appears that neither the Government nor the trade associations to which you refer understand the technicalities of the field of self-employment and small business. The Covid pandemic has merely served to highlight the difficulties that people in these groups face, often under-supported, with no employment rights – and now excluded.
“The latest figures show there are 1.4 million people who have been excluded from the SEISS scheme because the majority of their income does not come from self-employment (the 50/50 group). According to a recent Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) study, more than half of the 50/50 group have a personal income below £25,000, and 45 percent are women who have combined jobs to make a living.
“With the greatest respect, what you and, it seems, trade associations have failed to understand is that some of the employment income is merely ‘on-payroll’. These people are not employees, they have no employment rights but still pay tax as if they were employees. That means they cannot be furloughed, but neither can they claim SEISS – and they were in a low-income group to start with.”