If I ruled.... in The Manifesto

Revised: 03/25/2020 3:13 p.m.

  • March 25, 2020, 12:39 p.m.
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I have to say, if I was the chancellor right now, I’d be following a very similar course. All I see are self employed people moaning about how they are getting no help....well it’s coming, so shut up!

So far, pretty much all the measures have just been lip service - you cannot get through to the claim lines, they specifically made it telephone-based to limit the number of people claiming per day. They must have done. There’s way more sense to set up a web form asking for relevant info, that’s all the phone lines are doing right now…

And what they are hoping is that in the meantime, the clock runs down for those businesses who were hanging on a shoogly peg anyway. So if you operate prudently, have a cash reserve, have credit checked your customers properly etc, you have enough to survive a month or two with no income.

If you run close to the wind in a risky area, you’ll go bust before any help comes in - so public money is only going to get spent on fairly stable businesses who (critically!) are at least 3 years old… in other words, they have a track record of being good at what they do. You aren’t rescuing businesses whose owners are going to get bored and go off and do something else or for who this is just a hobby business or who were going to go bust anyway.

The excuse is “ah, well it’s very tricky to assess what sole traders earn” - it’s not really, we submit our taxes annually, and they are averaging these over 3 years. It is probably harder to assess who is winning and who is losing in all this drama, but effectively everyone should be able to claim that cash now, and if by end of next tax year you’ve made more than you should have, you pay it back. So for ease:

Bob earns £12k per year usually, he sees his work totally dry up for three months, he claims £1k/month relief which is usually what he draws out the business monthly. We get to April 2021 and Bob has either earned his usual £12k or more (in which case the £3k he drew out is payable as tax) or he only earned £9k and therefore doesn’t need to pay anything back because he only took what he needed… you don’t even need to have it as 80%, you just need it recoupable if they go over anticipated profit. Even if Bob only earns £6k and draws out £6k over 6 months, it means Bob has a business at the end of it.

Edit: 80%
There is a lot of annoyance over the fact that it’s only 80% of the net take home pay being offered, but really that’s all that employees are getting. And self employed should have allowed for variation in their household budgets really. I still don’t see why it shouldn’t be 100% given that we would pay back whatever we got above normal, whereas employees potentially could get 80% via the govt funding plus a chunk of their salary from their employer.

The real issue for a lot of self employed people is they were fudging how much they earn anyway to minimise their tax. Lots will have taken directors loans or rented IP to offshore accounts etc. Personally, I think it serves them right. Whilst being perfectly legal, I don’t think it is big or clever to skip paying your tax, I don’t see how it can be anything but shameful when you’ve earned the money. So if they’ve had the benefit of doing that for years and years, serves them right they don’t get much of a pay out now.

Last updated March 25, 2020

Complicated Disaster March 25, 2020

It takes a few days to get an online claim system that won't crash all the time going..... xx

Camdengirl Complicated Disaster ⋅ March 25, 2020

It’s all crashing anyway....

Camdengirl Complicated Disaster ⋅ March 25, 2020

What’s kinda weird - why set up the phone lines then? You might as well tell people “it’ll take us 3 weeks” or whatever... (of course, they’ve forced a lot of their contractors into jobs because of IR35, so I bet they are kicking themselves now!)

Also, it has been 2 weeks or so - I get why cash businesses are suffering, like taxi drivers etc, but I’m struggling to see why stable monthly billing businesses would be struggling... you don’t have bills due yet... so unless you were struggling before, there should be the cash there to pay your liabilities unless you are sailing incredibly close to the wind.

(Maybe that’s my cautious nature, it’s not how I operate!)

MyDronedLife March 25, 2020

I think this is one of the times you should pull your nose out of the air. A lot of those new business people who are self employed are struggling the most right now. You sit comfortably in your house with all your bills being paid never having to worry if you want to eat or pay a bill this month. Ignorance like this is why a good chunk of these businesses are going to go under. These people sink a lot of money trying to start out their businesses and nose in the air people like you look down upon them for freaking out just because you're comfortable.

Camdengirl MyDronedLife ⋅ March 25, 2020

I’m not saying it’s right - I’m saying these are commercial decisions, but you know that when you start a business, you take a risk and budget for it. I feel for those businesses on a personal level, but when you look at the numbers, 95% fail in the first 5 years... we should be prioritising those businesses who have proved they are successful in the past, because they will be again once we get past this.

It would be hard to defend bailing out businesses indefinitely who don’t make any money...

Camdengirl MyDronedLife ⋅ March 25, 2020

(And I should add, being self employed myself, I’ve been taking financial blows for the past 2 weeks and only today had a client admit she was going to stiff me on payment... believe me, it hurts, but that’s the risk I took)

MyDronedLife Camdengirl ⋅ March 26, 2020

So you're okay with people losing their houses ending up in homeless shelters because you're comfortable? That's fucking cold.

Camdengirl MyDronedLife ⋅ March 26, 2020

From a government point of view, I reckon they’ve calculated what the costs for both scenarios are. And I am in the UK - no one is without a safety net and they will get housed and looked after.

MyDronedLife Camdengirl ⋅ March 27, 2020

Is that why there are homeless on the streets and people being kicked out over nothing? I have two friends in the UK. I know how the UK works. You are acting snobby because you live comfortably. People are losing jobs over there due to this freak out and you have the arrogance to stick your nose in the air due to it. Let your husband lose his job and nobody helps you out with your business. Them you'll see what I'm saying.

Camdengirl MyDronedLife ⋅ March 27, 2020 (edited March 27, 2020)


Here if you need housed, you get housed. You need food, you get food. You need healthcare, you get it (albeit slowly in some cases). Everyone gets educated for free.

People who have serious addiction problems or mental health issues do really struggle because they lead chaotic lives. But it is a choice. The help is there.

The states is totally different.

Crazy-ish Bitch March 30, 2020

Interesting read (and also the notes, ha!)
It's logical how they're doing it really... and some win and some lose. But that's always how life goes...

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