Coronavirus  

Fear for directors left out of govt's income package

She said: "Given that the majority of these workers typically pay themselves a low salary of around £719 per month, and the rest in dividends which are excluded from their earnings calculation, they’re being asked to live off just £575 a month in financial support from the government.

"The government acknowledged that it would be difficult to support all types of workers, but there was also a promise that no-one would be left behind and at the moment, these independent small business owners have clearly been left out in the cold."

Some will see this has another blow for directors or limited companies, who have already had to contend with changes to entrepreneurial relief this year and impending changes to the controversial IR35 tax rules.   

Both the prime minister and chancellor have been vocal about the challenges faced by the government in trying to include all workers in an emergency coronavirus response package, admitting some will be left outside in the cold. 

In March, Mr Sunak announced the government would cover 80 per cent of at-risk employees' salaries for three months, in a move he labelled as "unprecedented in the history of the British state".

But the government faced criticism over the self-employed being left out of the measures and emotions ran high in the House of Commons last week as Boris Johnson faced a grilling from MPs over constituents waiting on the "same promises" for weeks.  

Amid the confusion surrounding the coronavirus lockdown, the self-employed have also found themselves targets of criminals looking to capitalise on the pandemic.

Last week, Financial Adviser learned a scam text message was circulating claiming to offer the self-employed a lump sum of money from HM Revenue & Customs in light of the lockdown, with a link requesting bank details to complete the transaction. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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