Chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak has announced a raft of support measures which he says aims to protect job and keep businesses solvent.
Addressing the House of Commons, 8 July, the chancellor unveiled a Jobs Retention Bonus, giving £1,000 to businesses who bring back employees from furlough, as well as a temporary VAT cut for hospitality and tourism businesses, down from 20% to 5%.
Another measure which may appeal to events businesses is a “kickstart scheme”, which aims to get unemployed 16 to 24-year-old into work as well as new payments for businesses hiring apprentices.
However, the chancellor said he makes “no apology” for winding down the Government’s furlough scheme for subsidising worker wages. Unless a restart date for the events industry is announced soon, this will come as a worry for events businesses, despite the new Job Retention Bonus.
The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) responded to the chancellor’s statement by pointing to the lack of any mention of the self-employed.
Although IPSE has welcomed the measures to boost the economy, including the employer bonus at the end of the furlough scheme, it has urged the Government to introduce a “tapered end” to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) to ensure freelancers do not face a “cliff-edge” in August.
Andy Chamberlain, director of policy at IPSE expressed his concern. He said: “We urge the chancellor to introduce a tapered end to SEISS to address the clear imbalance between employees and the self-employed.
“While considering measures to kickstart the economy, we also call on the chancellor to adopt policies that will back those groups, like limited companies and the newly self-employed, who missed out on support during lockdown.”
He added: “Freelancers will be vital in getting the UK back to business, but if they are to play their part, they must get a fair deal and the backing they need from the Government.”
An announcement about the future of the events industry is expected this week.