WFTV asks the Chancellor for Financial Support for Freelancers - 23 April 2020

On the back of the alarming figures from a WFTV survey revealing that 96% of WFTV members had lost some or all of their income since the Covid-19 lockdown, Chair and Acting CEO, Liz Tucker  has written to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, asking the government to extend their two financial support packages, the SEISS and CJRS. 

Currently, three million freelancers and self-employed workers are not eligible to claim under either scheme and many are also not eligible for universal benefit.

Liz said:
"People are really desperate, they are worried about losing their homes and  livelihoods, they are already having to live off their savings and if lockdown continues for any length of time, this is going to cause huge hardship".

These are the recommendations, that Liz made to the Chancellor on behalf of WFTV:

1.    1. Remove the cap for freelancers with profits of  £50,000/yr or more. Currently, someone earning £50,000/yr is unable to claim anything, whereas someone earning £49,000/yr can claim the maximum amount. 

2. Allow freelancers working through limited companies to use their combined salary and dividends in any financial grant calculation.

3. Allow PAYE contractors who are not eligible for furloughing to use their last year’s tax receipts in any financial grant calculation.

4. Allow those who in the public sector who are not eligible for furloughing  to use their last year’s tax receipts in any financial grant calculation.
This would also apply to those who have left the public sector and not yet started a new job.

5. Allow freelancers with less than one year’s accounts to use their 19/20 income to calculate any financial grant calculation.

6. Remove the requirement that the freelancer’s self-employed income needs to be more than 50% of their earnings
. If someone has only been freelance for several months, it is very likely that they will have made most of that year’s income from non-freelance earnings.

7. Where a period of maternity leave has been taken this should be excluded from the three year averaging of accounts for the calculation of grant payable.
Currently, anyone who has taken maternity leave will be at a disadvantage. So, we suggest if one of the 3 years used to calculate the financial grant payable has a lower profit due to maternity leave, then that year should be disregarded, and the assessment made only on the two more profitable years.

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