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Majority of self-employed received no Government support

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The majority of self-employed people in the UK have received no Government support to help them through the pandemic but they’ve still managed to pay all of their tax bills according to research from The Mortgage Lender.

Its survey, among 1,000 self-employed people who own their own home, or want to, was carried out in March this year and reveals the financial toll on the country’s entrepreneurs.

Overall, nine out of ten self-employed people have worked throughout the pandemic with 39 per cent working full-time and only one in ten (11 per cent) stopping work completely.

But the majority (57 per cent) of our panel said they had no Government support in the last 12 months. Only nine per cent had used the furlough scheme for employees, 28 per cent received a grant, six per cent took out a bounce back loan, five per cent secured a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, four per cent deferred their VAT payment and three per cent agreed a payment plan with the Inland Revenue.

When compared with the financial support offered to employees 58 per cent of our panel felt their experience of the pandemic was worse, 35 per cent said it was similar and 8 per cent claimed their experience was better.

The impact of the pandemic will show on year-end accounts for the period between April and September 2020 for 41 per cent of our panel, between October and December 2020 for 9 per cent and between January and April 2021 for a further 18 per cent.

Despite the financial struggles of the self-employed, nine out of ten are up to date with, or have the funds available to pay, their tax liabilities to the Inland Revenue.

The Mortgage Lender sales and product director, Steve Griffiths, said: “Our research lays bare the struggles of the self-employed over the last year as they have navigated reduced demand for their products and services and taxes due to the Inland Revenue, many with no support at all.

“Unlike larger employers micro-SMEs and entrepreneurs don’t have access to the financial skills that have helped larger companies take advantage of Government schemes to balance the books. Instead, they have taken on that burden while still managing to pay their contribution to the public purse.”

“The full financial impact for the self-employed still has to work its way through the system with accounts and tax not due until nine months after the year-end, so it will be another year before we see the real fallout of the pandemic.

“As a specialist mortgage lender our residential products have been designed to help people whose financial situation have been challenged by the last year. And it is incumbent on the sector as a whole to provide competitively priced products that ensure large segments of the UK homeowning population are not locked out of the mortgage market while their finances recover.”

Please note article content was accurate at time of publishing