Opinion  

Letters: 'Cliff-edge' threshold of £50,000 earnings unjustifiable

Financial Adviser Letters

Financial Adviser Letters

Indeed, the deadline for BBL applications has also been extended to January 31 2021.  

However, as I am not allowed to make a second application, that is no help to me. 

Name and address supplied

 

Left out again

Following your article ‘FCA chief: Lockdown a “tipping point” for small advisers’ (Nov 4).

I work from home as a self-employed financial adviser. I have a large mortgage, a wife and a four-year-old son who started school in September.  

I have been fortunate enough to have earnings from my business in excess of £50,000 (although not by a huge amount).  

That does not allow me to live a life of luxury – it services my mortgage, provides my wife and me with a car each, allows me to maintain the property and go to bed at night without worrying whether I can pay my bills.  

As a result of the pandemic, my income has dropped dramatically. My one member of staff has been put on furlough. But because of my level of earnings in the past, I have been completely excluded from any government support.  

The ‘cliff-edge’ threshold of £50,000 earnings is simply unjustifiable. Had I employed an adviser and paid him/her more than £50,000 a year I would have been able to place them on furlough and been supported to the tune of £2,500 a month through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.  

Had my wife and I run the business as a partnership (and saved tax in the process) we would each have been entitled to a monthly payment of up to £2,500.  

It seems grotesquely unjust that having taken the risks of setting up my own business, I should then be penalised for having made a success of it and receive precisely nothing.  

I anticipate that the full effect of coronavirus this year will be a drop in income of more than £30,000.  

I have just reached 60 years of age and therefore I have savings and am immediately excluded from state support in the form of universal credit.  

I cannot, however, afford to run down my savings or investments due to the regulator requiring me to maintain a level of capital adequacy at all times in order to be able to continue to trade, nor can I run up arrears on my mortgage as I have to maintain my credit record.

I cannot claim any business grants as my local council only considers those with a business rates identification number and not home-based businesses.  

The chancellor has announced further support for the self-employed but has simply applied the old eligibility criteria, meaning all of us who were excluded from support the first time are excluded again.

I am one of the lucky ones: I still receive some income from existing clients who pay me to advise them in these uncertain times, but no one is investing money at the moment.