25 March 2020
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.
Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA
Chief Executive — Management Accounting
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants