The recent help for business is piecemeal and inadequate, but still welcome – even if days, indeed weeks late – and effectively even later than that because companies are asked to survive for a month first… Yet what about the self employed? As our (well my) favourite MP says:
This is really like pulling teeth – the government just doesn’t keep the whole picture in its purview. The arts, for example, are a great British export and many artists don’t need to go abroad in order to perform ‘internationally’, but there is no realistic support for the self-employed.
Bear in mind that all arts performance venues are closed, yet whilst the employed are getting 80% of usual income at up to £2500 per month, the self Employed are on £375 per month on universal credit. That’s roughly 15% of the labour force (5 million self-employed) who will be facing effective penury.
This is not, in any sense, credible.
A Universal Basic Income would be so much simpler.
On the bright side, at least government has now admitted it can create money and pay wages – so we are part of the way there.
UBI can no longer, I think, be dismissed as unaffordable or a crazy idea – certainly after a year – or even after the three months that the government has pretty laughably granted.
And it has taken a pandemic and a lot of pressure for our government to find the Magic Money Tree for us all (rather than just bankers) but not yet, quite remarkably, the self employed, who were in Tory parlance, the backbone of the entrepreneurial nation.
We need, rather swiftly, I think, to convince the Tory bankers that they actually are….