We’re all in this together? Don’t tell that to the self-employed


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In his blog this week, Frank McKenna calls for more support for the self-employed; welcomes Keir Starmer’s election as Labour leader; and wishes Boris Johnson a speedy recovery.

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”2/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]There is no doubt that in the grand scheme of things the Chancellor has done a good job in protecting businesses and workers with the range of financial support packages he has announced. Where gaps have been flagged, he has reacted positively, this week responding to the concerns from the charitable sector.

However, the one section of our workforce that have been overlooked are the self- employed.

I was convinced that the anomalies that apply to the 6 million plus folk who fall into this category would have been addressed by now. However, as we prepare for our Easter break, there appears to be no moves from the Treasury to change their thinking in terms of this large and now disadvantaged section of society.

The idea that every company Director or sole trader ‘fiddle’ their taxes and have off- shore bank accounts is for the birds.

This army of essential workers deserve better and it is something that Downtown in Business, alongside other business groups, will be continuing to press after the break.

To add insult to injury, we learn today that MPs are to be awarded a £10k grant to offset homeworking costs for their staff.

As someone who has consistently argued that our parliamentarians are underpaid and undervalued, the timing of this initiative is, to say the least, unfortunate.

If perception is everything, then the Chancellor and his colleagues really do need to consider what this looks like to the millions of us who fall through all the gaps of the support measures he has presented.

‘We’re all in this together’ is a rather hollow soundbite to many self-employed and company Directors right now.


Ordinarily the big political news this week would have been the election of a new Labour Party leader.

Keir Starmer stormed to a convincing victory at the weekend and he has already demonstrated a departure from the hard- left dogma that has hamstrung his party for years with a positive shake-up of his Shadow Cabinet.

His next task will be to rid the organisation of those who ‘masterminded’ the party’s worst defeat in nearly a century back at Labour HQ. The fact that he has won control of the party’s National Executive Committee will allow him to do so swiftly.

There is a long way to go before Labour becomes a genuine alternative government. But they have taken a huge step in the right direction with Starmer’s election.


One of the unfortunate consequences of our country’s politics in recent times has been the absence among many of being able to disagree with someone’s view without absolutely despising them.

Of course, there are politicians and individuals whose opinion I vehemently oppose, but that would not lead me to the conclusion that I wish them harm, never mind dead.

It is therefore both unacceptable and unnecessary for imbecilic morons to take to social media platforms celebrating Boris Johnson’s admission to an Intensive Care Unit.

I have been critical of the PM and will doubtless continue to be so in the future. But at this difficult time, I wish him well – not dead.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGhyZWYlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGRG93bnRvd25GcmFuayUzRnJlZl9zcmMlM0R0d3NyYyUyNTVFdGZ3JTIyJTIwY2xhc3MlM0QlMjJ0d2l0dGVyLWZvbGxvdy1idXR0b24lMjIlMjBkYXRhLXNob3ctY291bnQlM0QlMjJmYWxzZSUyMiUzRUZvbGxvdyUyMCU0MERvd250b3duRnJhbmslM0MlMkZhJTNFJTNDc2NyaXB0JTIwYXN5bmMlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnBsYXRmb3JtLnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGd2lkZ2V0cy5qcyUyMiUyMGNoYXJzZXQlM0QlMjJ1dGYtOCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRnNjcmlwdCUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGNsYXNzJTNEJTIydHdpdHRlci10aW1lbGluZSUyMiUyMGRhdGEtaGVpZ2h0JTNEJTIyMTAwMCUyMiUyMGhyZWYlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGRG93bnRvd25GcmFuayUzRnJlZl9zcmMlM0R0d3NyYyUyNTVFdGZ3JTIyJTNFVHdlZXRzJTIwYnklMjBEb3dudG93bkZyYW5rJTNDJTJGYSUzRSUyMCUzQ3NjcmlwdCUyMGFzeW5jJTIwc3JjJTNEJTIyaHR0cHMlM0ElMkYlMkZwbGF0Zm9ybS50d2l0dGVyLmNvbSUyRndpZGdldHMuanMlMjIlMjBjaGFyc2V0JTNEJTIydXRmLTglMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZzY3JpcHQlM0UlMjA=[/vc_raw_html][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGhyZWYlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGRG93bnRvd25GcmFuayUzRnJlZl9zcmMlM0R0d3NyYyUyNTVFdGZ3JTIyJTIwY2xhc3MlM0QlMjJ0d2l0dGVyLWZvbGxvdy1idXR0b24lMjIlMjBkYXRhLXNob3ctY291bnQlM0QlMjJmYWxzZSUyMiUzRUZvbGxvdyUyMCU0MERvd250b3duRnJhbmslM0MlMkZhJTNFJTNDc2NyaXB0JTIwYXN5bmMlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnBsYXRmb3JtLnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGd2lkZ2V0cy5qcyUyMiUyMGNoYXJzZXQlM0QlMjJ1dGYtOCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRnNjcmlwdCUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column][/vc_row]

If not now, when?

Frank Mckenna explains the reasoning behind Boris Johnson’s decision to announce ‘Freedom Day’ and a loosening of COVID restrictions.

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