Shabana has written to the Chancellor regarding support for those who are self-employed.
From November, those who are self-employed will only be eligible to receive up to 20% of their income in Government support, in comparison to previous grants of up to 70% of income.
Many constituents have been in touch regarding the new plans, who are already struggling to make ends meet.
In her letter, Shabana asks the Government to reconsider the level of support to those who are self-employed, to ensure that people across the country are not plunged into poverty this winter.
You can read her letter in full below.
Letter to the Chancellor
I have recently been contacted by many constituents regarding the changes made to the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
My constituents are concerned that there is a significant fall in the level of support the Government has committed to those in self-employment. Where previously applicants could receive up to 70% of their income through the grant, they will now only receive up to 20% of their income from November 2020 onwards.
My constituency already has one of the highest unemployment rates across the country. It also encompasses the whole of Birmingham city centre, which is home to many hospitality and events businesses which have been hit particularly hard as a consequence of updated public health guidance.
The Covid-19 pandemic has also had a disproportionate economic impact on certain communities within my constituency. Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found that those of Black, Asian and Minority ethnicities are disproportionately more likely to face financial uncertainty due to the lockdown, with Bangladeshi men four times more likely to work in industries directly impacted by lockdown, and Pakistani men more likely to be self-employed.
Self-employed workers deserve the same level of financial support and security offered to other employees through the Job Support Scheme (JSS), which pledges to give employees up to 70% of their income. There is a huge, and unjustifiable, disparity between the financial support offered in SEISS and JSS, and this will drive many self-employed workers, including many of my constituents, into further poverty.
My constituents would feel reassured if the Government would urgently review their support packages, and grant self-employed workers the same level of protection given to all other workers in our economy.
I would be grateful if you would address my constituents’ concerns and set out what action the Government will intend to take on the matter.
Shabana Mahmood MP