Both of Scotland’s governments must act to rescue “forgotten freelancers”


Mike Rumbles MSP and Christine Jardine MP have today written to both the Scottish and UK Government to call for freelancers who pay their taxes through PAYE even though they have multiple employers throughout the year to be able to access the same support as the self-employed.

This particularly affects the Oil and Gas industry and the film and tv industry.

The government have agreed to pay 80% of the average earnings of the self-employed over March, April and May last year using the records held by HMRC, the very same information held by HMRC on freelance workers, who are not currently eligible for payments. 

Mike Rumbles said:

“While financial assistance is being given to employees through the furlough scheme, to businesses and to the self-employed, freelancers have been completely forgotten.

“The UK government encouraged many freelancers to move out of self-employment into becoming employees and to pay their taxes through PAYE even though they would have multiple employers throughout the year and not just one employer. These people will not be eligible for government support as things currently stand.

“This is particularly impacting on the North Sea Oil and Gas supply industry, which relies heavily on freelance contractors who work for many firms across a year but pay tax on a PAYE basis."  

Ms Jardine said:

“The energy industry is vital to keeping the country running and those working in the supply chain are a crucial part of ensuring that we can keep the lights on through this crisis.

“For anyone in that sector to be treated differently or not have the support that other are getting because they are on contracts is just reprehensible.

“Surely it cannot be beyond the wit of HMRC to come up with a solution not just for this sector but for all self-employed people.”


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