Chancellor faces mounting pressure to help small business owners who ‘feel abandoned’ during coronavirus crisis – The Sun

RISHI Sunak faces mounting pressure to help almost a million small business owners who say he has abandoned them.

MPs and the construction industry body want him to open up the self-employment bailout package to directors of limited companies.

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Many brickies, plumbers and entrepreneurs pay themselves in dividends, making them ineligible for the Chancellor’s scheme.

Federation of Master Builders boss Brian Berry said Mr Sunak must reconsider.

Brian said: “This could be the lifeline that keeps many small businesses, employing thousands of people, afloat.”

Tory MP Mel Stride called on HMRC to distinguish between dividend income and that earned on other investments, such as shares.

He said: "One way of doing this might be to allow people to claim in relation to these dividends with spot checks by HMRC later and penalties where over-claims have been made.

"I think this is one potential approach that HMT [HM Treasury] and HMRC should look into more closely."

Kate Solomons warned that if her Leicester-based events firm Kreative Group Ltd goes bust it threatens the 150 self-employed people she provides work for.

Councils were also accused of sitting on £5billion of government grant funding meant for struggling businesses.

The Treasury said loans, income tax deferrals and grants are available.

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