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Excluded UK lobbies for Government support for all

Written by: Emma Lunn
A new alliance is aiming to bring together individuals and businesses left out of the Government’s Covid-19 financial support packages.

Excluded UK is founded on the principles of inclusivity and positivity, in order to help affected individuals and businesses lacking Government support during the pandemic.

Based on statistics provided by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Business Population Estimates (BPE) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), it is estimated that 3 million individuals across the UK are excluded from Government support, accounting for 10% of the UK’s workforce.

Excluded UK describes itself as a “rapidly growing movement”, gaining more than 2,400 Facebook followers in a fortnight.

The group says people currently excluded from Government support include:

  • Those in between jobs or due to start new jobs after 19 March
  • The newly self-employed and new businesses
  • The self-employed with either low profits or profits above £50,000
  • Workers in less than 50% self-employment
  • New parents on parental leave
  • Workers on PAYE freelance short-term contracts
  • Low investment start-ups
  • Small limited company owner-directors
  • Businesses ineligible for grants

Excluded UK says many people who fall into these categories have had little or no income or revenue for the past two months, with no prospect of change on the horizon.

One of the key objectives of Excluded UK will be to fundraise, through crowdfunding and other initiatives, in order to develop a fund that will seek to benefit those who need it most.

It also plans to raise awareness of those in need through lobbying, to put continued pressure on the UK Government.

Excluded UK was founded by three small business owners Anneka Hicks, Sonali Joshi and Aron Padley.

Sonali Joshi says: “Covid-19 has impacted our lives in ways we could never have imagined – from many aspects of daily life, to mental health and well-being, to financial hardship. While the Government’s financial support packages have been broadly welcomed, too many individuals have been excluded and are in critical need of financial support, with the continued prospects of an extremely harsh future in the months ahead.

“Livelihoods and businesses are at stake. We are part of the fabric of our communities and are a vital part of the nation’s economy. However, in order to emerge from this crisis, those currently excluded need crucial support in line with existing measures that others are benefitting from.”

Anneka Hicks says: “Having found myself excluded from support schemes and facing my third month with less than 20% of my normal personal income, the impact of this is being felt throughout the chain, from our suppliers and customers, self-employed and freelancers we work with, through to those employees we were about to take on who we’ve been unable to furlough.

“It’s been heartbreaking to discover just how many hardworking UK taxpayers are finding it impossible to put food on the table and cover their overheads. Some of our members are facing long term unemployment and the imminent collapse of their livelihoods and lifelong careers through no fault of their own.”

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