Contractors to rate the government on supporting limited companies during covid
Contractor limited companies can have their say to The Guardian on how they rate the government’s support of small businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.
How they have fared since early 2020, and how the official covid response has affected their “finances and plans” are among the areas that company-owners can tell the newspaper about.
Forgotten Ltd says it welcomes the opportunity for directors to have their say, not least because the broadsheet’s form to submit comments acknowledges that six million traders are in a “financially precarious” position.
Out of those six million, the campaign group estimates two million are businesses owners who chose to incorporate – a slight reduction on the three million which the chancellor has declined to recognise as ‘excluded.’
“[The broadsheet’s] asking for stories from our type of business [comes] as it becomes clearer every day that the Conservative Party’s abandonment of this huge portion of the workplace could have major implications for the wider economy”, Forgotten Ltd said.
It appealed: “We must take every opportunity to highlight the scandal of so many being excluded from support packages via government policy, so please take a few minutes to take part in the survey.”
But not all national press titles are going down as well with Forgotten Ltd.
Staffed by the very people they represent – directors whose only covid income support has been a chunk of their salary (which is low for them to stay financially-efficient), the group said an article by the Times was a “disappointment”.
'Misses the elephant in the room'
Specifically, the paper’s ‘Small business owners asked parents for emergency cash during pandemic’ omitted the key reason why parents were asked for such handouts, believes Forgotten Ltd, explaining:
“Chief Business Correspondent [for the Times] James Dean…MISSES THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.
“You get to the end of this article and…you say [as a reader], ‘is that it?’”
The group added: “The headline should have led to a lot more interrogation than it received unfortunately. It is a bit of a tick-box effort driven by a survey…[amid] a media environment in thrall to Rishi Sunak’s ‘no one will be left behind’ positioning”.
'Rishi's fraud squad is just the start'
However, it is a third national newspaper, The Sun, which is showing Mr Sunak to now be taking action - albeit against businesses because of how they used covid support packages which they were entitled to.
“Rishi Sunak’s ‘fraud squad’ is recovering hundreds of thousands from ‘covid business relief fraudsters,” posted business-crime and tax solicitor Tajinder Barring, reflecting on the redtop’s article.
The specialist solicitor warned: “This is just the start. With businesses claiming billions, it is only a matter of time before we start to see criminal prosecutions with deterrent sentences.”
The warning comes after two people were arrested earlier this month in Bradford for an alleged £3.4million fraud of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, separate to the arrest in September of a limited company director and her accountant for allegedly defrauding the scheme by £70,000.