4 January 2021
As the PM announces new lockdown measures, ExcludedUK restates the need for those excluded from government Covid-19 financial support to receive immediate help as a matter of urgency.
As England and Scotland enter a new lockdown, while this is necessary to curtail the rapid spread of Covid-19, it is vital that the Government now urgently helps those who have been excluded from meaningful financial support since the CJRS and SEISS schemes were introduced over 9 months ago at the onset of the pandemic.
ExcludedUK reiterates its call to the Treasury to urgently consider the 3 stage approach put forward by ExcludedUK to the Treasury in December, intended as a precursor to seeking solutions for all categories of exclusions in the schemes, working in tandem with the Gaps in Support APPG.
The most immediate call is for an emergency grant to help those affected, initially called for to see these individuals through the Christmas period, and now needed more than ever as we head into a new lockdown at the start of 2021. Any such emergency payments can be made via the existing tax system and will provide a lifeline for so many. This is now of the utmost urgency.
As part of this approach to seeking solutions, ExcludedUK equally urges the Treasury to immediately waive Self-Assessment tax for the self-employed due at the end of this month, as well as Corporation Tax for small limited companies. With many businesses on the brink for months, this will be a welcome measure to help them face the added challenges of this imminent new lockdown.
Affected individuals and businesses have been left without meaningful support since March 2020. While further extensions to CJRS and SEISS have already been announced, widening the gap between those in receipt of support and those left behind, the Treasury must now recognise that it is vital that these 3 million individuals and businesses are given the support they need.
The outline of ExcludedUK’s 3 stage approach to seeking solutions for those excluded from support can be read here: 3 Stage Approach
Stage 1: A one-off upfront urgent payment of £2,000 per person excluded from meaningful support
Based on ExcludedUK’s latest survey, rounding down average pre-Covid monthly income, a figure of £2,358 is proposed. This will provide an immediate fix in the short term for those facing severe financial hardship.
Stage 2: A forward-facing new monthly arrangement while tiers and restrictions remain in place in complete parity with the extension of the CJRS and SEISS schemes: 80% of pre-Covid income up to £2,500 per month maximum, removing arbitrary hard edges to eligibility criteria:
HMRC can be used for payments to reach people easily, all within an existing system via tax code information alongside self-certification – a straightforward mechanism, able to avoid fraudulent claims and with a claw-back system to operate as needed.
Stage 3: Commence discussions on backdating payments for a full and final settlement to deliver parity and fairness for those excluded from meaningful support
The overriding call from those affected is parity of support.
ExcludedUK also published a briefing paper on the broader context and impacts of the exclusions in the schemes that can found at this link: Briefing Paper.
ExcludedUK renews its call to the Treasury to urgently provide an interim emergency grant, waive upcoming tax payments for those excluded from SEISS, and engage in further discussions in earnest to seek urgent solutions for all those entirely or largely from support in the face of this new lockdown.
Rachel Flower, Press Liaison and Spokesperson
Sonali Joshi, Founder
Case studies available on request
Notes to editors:
- ExcludedUK is a grassroots volunteer-run not-for-profit organisation established in response to the financial challenges faced by individuals and businesses entirely or largely excluded from government Covid-19 financial support.
- ExcludedUK's estimate of 3 million excluded from meaningful government Covid-19 financial support, has also been backed up by Martin Lewis (Money Saving Expert) and Standard Life Foundation which referred to 3 million households as being ‘unprotected’. The National Audit Office report of 23 October stated that 2.9 million were ineligible for the government Covid-19 financial support schemes.