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Media comment: Why we need to have a level playing field for all workers

25 March 2020

Dear editor, 

The Government has already provided businesses and consumers with numerous, efficient measures to help businesses, society and the economy as a whole. However there are further opportunities for the Government to build on the welcomed efforts announced to-date and serve the self-employed, sole traders, gig economy workers and UK small businesses. 

The Government should provide some much-needed relief by setting up a new quick-to-access “Coronavirus Loan Scheme”, akin to the Student Loan Scheme, to allow sole traders and the self-employed to solve their cashflow issues quickly and continue operating whilst other measures bed in. We should also create with a basic income grant for self-employed and gig economy workers struggling with work and income losses to shore up their cashflow, pay the bills and spend in the economy. Together these measures will provide a safety net to help with their immediate wellbeing, allow around 5 million people do their bit to drive demand in the economy, stop business productivity dropping completely off a cliff and soften the inevitable recession that will come.

We are, after all, born of “a nation of shopkeepers”, entrepreneurs and merchants.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA
Chief Executive — Management Accounting
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants