SNP MSP writes to Rishi Sunak to raise concerns over off-payroll workers

The MSP has written to chancellor Rishi SunakThe MSP has written to chancellor Rishi Sunak
The MSP has written to chancellor Rishi Sunak | Getty Images
An SNP MSP has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to raise the issue of off-payroll workers who are not eligible for UK Government schemes.

Gordon Macdonald said such individuals, usually directors of limited companies, fell between two support plans as they were not paid through PAYE, but instead took renumeration from a dividend.

The Edinburgh Pentlands MSP said: “This is an issue facing many small local companies who face collapse during this crisis.

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“The UK-wide schemes that you have introduced are very welcome and a very good starting point, helping the majority of workers affected by the current emergency. However, there are gaps that people are falling through which are leaving people struggling to get by.

“I don’t believe this to be the government’s intention, so I am writing to you in good faith.

“I urge you to revise the current scheme to allow owner/workers of small businesses the flexibility to include all types of income (payroll, self-employment, dividend) when making a claim for support.”

The Treasury said that HM Revenue & Customs was unable to distinguish between dividends derived from an individual’s own company and dividends from other sources.

A spokesman said: “The UK Government is fully committed to supporting the self employed, and our Self Employment Income Support Scheme is one of the most generous in the world.

“Salaried company directors are eligible to be furloughed and receive support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This includes salaried individuals who are directors of their own company.

“Those who do not qualify will be able to access a range of other support – including an increase in the Universal Credit allowance, income tax deferrals, £1 billion more support for renters and access to three-month mortgage holidays.”

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