A Gedling man who was refused government help has called for greater support for the self-employed.

As many as 3 million people across the country are thought to have slipped through the safety nets provided by government.

Pressure has been building on the government and Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help those not who have not been granted furlough or helped by the self-employed income support scheme (SEISS).

According to a survey conducted by campaigning group Excluded to see who had problems receiving government support, 54 per cent of respondents were self-employed.

The construction sector has been one of the sectors most effected, with 12 per cent of the survey’s respondents being construction workers.

Electrician at work. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

Tim Arnold, an electrician from Gedling became self-employed when his employer went under at the start of last year leaving him with no other choice.

He said: “Some weeks I was lucky to be earning £100 a week and I was doing a few hours here and there.

“I was my own support really; I had no option to stay home and stay safe like the government said they wanted people to do.”

Many self-employed people who haven’t received support, like Tim, have had their applications for SEISS rejected.

One of the main reasons for this has been that the recently self-employed cannot prove that they are eligible under the government’s requirements.

The 43-year-old added: “They wanted three years’ worth of books as a self-employed worker which felt like a slap in the face as I’ve paid tax all of my life.

“They soon know and will chase you don’t pay your taxes, so it’s not like they can’t check whether you are entitled or not.

“I’m lucky I kept some work but there will be people who have been completely abandoned and they need help now.”

A cross party group of MPs, named Gaps in Support, have been pushing to find solutions for those who have been left out.

Parliament in session on April 22, 2020. Credit: Jessica Taylor Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic

Chair of the group, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross MP Jamie Stone in an open letter to the government, said:

“The self-employed and small businesses sector make up 99.3 per cent of the business population.

“We ask you to acknowledge them, accept that their difficulties are real and offer the support to which they are fully entitled.”

The Gaps in Support group is currently gathering evidence for its inquest into the government’s handling of financial support during the pandemic.