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30.03.2020

Icon reacts to Chancellor’s latest support measures for the self employed

Today, Icon has written to the Chancellor the Exchequer in response to the introduction of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme. Under the new scheme, self-employed workers will be able to apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month.

Icon welcomed the new support measures to help self-employed workers affected by the Coronavirus pandemic as a vital step forward. However, we drew attention to the need to make funds available immediately to help self-employed and freelance conservators cover expenses and bills that are due now. The current timetable would not see funds available until June. Icon also sought clarity on support for those workers that fall between the cracks of the scheme, such as sole directors of limited liability companies and those that have entered self-employment after April 2019, such as recent graduates. 

Icon urged government to consider further measures of support, including: 

  • Interim aid until the scheme is fully operational, for example immediate emergency cash grants, as called for by the RSA
  • Extension of the Self-employment Income Support Scheme so that it is truly comprehensive and accessible or information on how workers not covered by existing aid measures will be supported.
  • Access to further business support advice to help self-employed workers navigate the different support options available.  

We will continue to monitor developments and work closely with Government and colleagues across the cultural heritage sector to ensure the concerns of our members are heard and that the profession is fully supported at this challenging time. 

We welcome suggestions from members and are also keen to hear about the experiences of freelance workers and SME owners. 

Read our letter to the Chancellor here

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Image: Creative Commons

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