Waveney MP calls for more economic support for self-employed

Peter Aldous, Waveney MP, called for more support for the newly self-employed at PMQs.

Peter Aldous, Waveney MP, called for more support for the newly self-employed at PMQs. - Credit: BBC PARLIAMENT

The Waveney MP has called for the government to extend financial support to a group of self-employed people who have not been eligible throughout the pandemic.

Speaking via video link at prime minister's questions, Mr Aldous said: "The government has put in place an extensive system of support to help employers and employees through the pandemic.

"However, a group that have been overlooked — many of whom are now really struggling — are those self-employed who set up their own businesses after April 2019 and were unable to submit a complete tax return."

Mr Aldous said this was no longer an obstacle 10 months on and called for prime minister Boris Johnson to emulate the newly self-employed scheme in place in Northern Ireland. 

He said the scheme was straightforward and guarded against fraud.

In response, Mr Johnson said he was right to raise the concerns but said those affected were "fewer in number than sometimes suggested".

Mr Johnson continued to say: "The ideas he suggests I know will be taken up by my right honourable friend the chancellor and he can expect to hear more on March 3."

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The newly self-employed are among those identified by pressure groups such as Excluded UK as having been left out of the financial support throughout the pandemic.

Supporting the self-employed through the pandemic and during the recovery afterward is also one of the aims of this newspaper's Fightback East campaign.

Mr Aldous, who is the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the East of England, said he backed our campaign "entirely". 

“Quite frankly you have to bang on as much as possible and shout as much as possible,” he said.