As promised I have put in writing the suggestions on the way to approach this matter which was a way to enable us to help the position regarding the plight of what we estimate is 50 per cent of our 20,000 membership who are self-employed but do not attract financial grants during the COVID-19 crisis because they are not liable to pay business rates.

 

These are traders on outdoor markets, street markets and a whole series of events held up and down the country, who do not have premises and therefore do not come under the umbrella of business rates.

 

It seems to us to be a great anomaly that those who qualify for business rates get thousands of pounds in grants – even though they do not actually pay those rates because their rateable value gives them rate relief.

 

And just as significantly employees of companies, whatever size they may be, can have 80 per cent of their salaries guaranteed by government.

 

The Government needs urgently to address the bleak prospect for the nation’s five million self-employed workers.

 

Assessing the amount of support they get would seems to me to be simplest way to address this matter is to base it on their previous annual HMRC tax returns.

 

There have been assertions by the Prime Minister that the self-employed will not be forgotten.

 

I only hope he and the Government will find a quick way to announce positive measures along the lines we have suggested to support this major sector of the UK’s workforce.