Including the excluded

During the COVID-19 pandemic millions of people were unable to access the governments support schemes. The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme was meant to support self-employed workers but many were unable to access the schemes. In some cases this happened due to measures implemented by the government such as the £50,000 cap and the 50% rule. There were also other groups such as freelancers, limited company directors, discretionary commission and PAYE Tronc payments.

The other large group excluded from support was those refused from the furlough scheme. Often the issue for those trying to access the furlough scheme came from employers refusing to allow employees onto the scheme. You also had those employees who were laid off and never received furlough support.

We released solutions to include more people:

We wrote four papers during the pandemic in order to include more people in the governments income support schemes. In total these plans came to 126 pages with solutions for those who were excluded and a call for a public inquiry into how this happened. You can see our papers here:

Excluded to Included: Expanding the governments income support schemes (briefing paper):

This paper is a collection of our practical policy solutions to including those who have been excluded from the government income support schemes. This is an urgent matter, as the risk of a second COVID-19 wave increases each day. If a second wave hits the UK, it is paramount that we ensure the self-employed are not forgotten and get the support they need.

Expanding furlough: Including more people in the CJRS and SEISS (Draft white paper):

This paper is a collection of our practical policy solutions to including those who have been excluded from the government income support schemes. This is an urgent matter, as the risk of a second COVID-19 wave increases each day. If a second wave hits the UK, it is paramount that we ensure the self-employed are not forgotten and get the support they need.

A set of scales with words surrounding it about those who have been excluded from government support.

The text reads: "A public inquiry into the excluded. Briefing paper - Why we need a public inquiry into those excluded from the CJRS and SEISS. By Torrin Wilkins, October 21st 2021. Centre Think Tank ISSN 2634-4696".

A public inquiry into the excluded: Why we need a public inquiry into those excluded from the CJRS and SEISS (Briefing paper):

This paper looks at stories from those who were unable to access the governments income support schemes and the pain this caused those who were excluded from support. It also supports an inquiry into why people were excluded and how we can prevent people from being excluded from government schemes in the future.

A white cover with two people in a yellow and a green room. In the green room is a person with short hair on a laptop with two plants next to him. The person in the yellow room is sitting on a purple chair with a dog next to them.

The paper says "Skilling up: How we fill skill shortages after the pandemic. Briefing paper. By Torrin Wilkins, March 11th 2022. Centre Think Tank ISSN 2634-4696".

Skilling up: How we fill skill shortages after the pandemic. (Briefing paper):

The UK is currently experiencing a skills shortage. We have seen thousands of new jobs but a workforce that isn’t qualified to do those jobs. This scheme would be a grant and training specifically targeted at those who missed out on support during the pandemic. It could be used specifically to retrain people for areas such as lorry driving which desperately needs more people to be trained to reduce the current shortage.

We campaigned on the issue:

After we published our plans to include more people in both the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and the furlough scheme we then launched a campaign on the issue.

Around the same time the All Party Parliamentary Group on Gaps in Support was created consisting of 216 MPs. The overall costings for our first set of plans were presented to the APPG and then our Expanding Furlough plan was presented to the group which you can see below. The APPG later encouraged the government to look into this solution.

The Expanding Furlough plan and our paper calling for an inquiry into the issue both received a response from the Treasury. Our campaign was also covered multiple times in the Yorkshire Post.

We spoke about our plans:

The next step was to spread awareness amongst the general public and to speak to those people who have been excluded. Thats why we had speakers at events in both London and Liverpool:

London:

In London Torrin Wilkins spoke in front of parliament about the excluded on the first leg of the tour. There he spoke about how the income support schemes had failed the self-employed and employees who couldn’t access them. He also spoke about the alternative schemes used by countries such as Germany.

Liverpool:

The second leg of the journey took us to the centre of Liverpool. This time Torrin was joined by members of Centre including Ryan Frendo, Jasneet Samrai and Danny Simm at the event. He spoke about the scale of the six million people excluded from support and how Centre has created multiple schemes to include more people in the schemes.

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