‘Equal treatment for the self-employed’ – Anderson

Those who have become self-employed within the last year should be entitled to the same level of Covid-19 financial support as other businesses, Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has said.

The Foyle MLA was commenting after raising the ‘unfair’ anomaly with the British Revenue and Customs department.

Martina Anderson said: “The current criteria of the Covid-19 self-employment income support scheme has left some people who have become self-employed within the last year entitled to very little if anything at all.

“This is because the rules state that for those eligible who became self-employed during 2018/2019 tax year, a grant of 80% of average monthly profit will be issued based on the 2018/2019 tax return. 

“To apply this process to those who became self-employed in the last year is not only unfair, it is divorced from reality because self-employed ventures have very limited profits or even run at a loss in their first year of business.

“This has created an unfair anomaly in the scheme which means those who recently became self-employed across Derry and the north may not be afforded the same economic supports as other businesses.

“The scheme must be amended to end this discrimination.”