Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Editor’s Pick

MPs criticise HMRC over gaps in covid support schemes

Sound and lighting engineer at an outdoor

Whole groups of people are falling through the cracks of Covid-19 support schemes due to out-of-date tax systems, MPs have said.

Some freelancers and self-employed people have been particularly excluded, despite lockdowns and restrictions meaning they cannot work, the Public Accounts Committee said.

Others meanwhile are able to abuse the system, it said.

The government said its “top priority” was helping those who are struggling.

Since March, HM Revenue and Customs has provided more than £80bn in support to companies and individuals through government coronavirus support schemes, the committee said.

They are also supporting the incomes of many of the self-employed.

But despite this, a report from the MPs says “quirks in the tax system” have meant that groups of workers – including freelancers and self-employed people who recently moved onto company payrolls or work on a series of short-term employment contracts with gaps in between – have been ineligible for furlough payments.

“As public spending balloons to unprecedented levels in response to the pandemic, out-of-date tax systems are one of the barriers to getting help to a significant number of struggling taxpayers who should be entitled to support,” said MP Meg Hillier, chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

By contrast, she said some large companies that had used government support schemes had continued to pay dividends to shareholders and high salaries to executives.

She added that HMRC was in many cases failing “to capture or deal with those wrongly claiming” support.

The tax agency should explain to freelancers and other groups why they have been excluded from receiving support and set out steps to fix the problem within six weeks, the MPs said.

‘Uncertainty’

The PAC also said that a lack of certainty about government coronavirus support schemes had made it difficult for businesses to plan effectively.

For example, HMRC could not provide clarity on whether the Job Retention Bonus scheme had been delayed or scrapped, the committee said.

The scheme was meant to pay employers an incentive for every worker they brought back from furlough and kept in employment until January.

“Such lack of clarity may lead to unnecessary hardships for some businesses, who in good faith were relying on the payments from the scheme to meet some of their needs,” the MPs said.

‘Welfare net’

A government spokesperson said it had done “all it can to help as many people as possible”.

“HMRC delivered Covid-19 support schemes at unprecedented speed, protecting the livelihoods of millions of people.

“We do not underestimate the challenges faced by individuals and businesses during the pandemic, and our top priority is getting financial support to those struggling… while protecting the taxpayer against fraud.

“Those not eligible for support through these schemes can still benefit from the strengthened welfare safety net, accessing help like universal credit.”

Read more:
MPs criticise HMRC over gaps in covid support schemes

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us and our affiliates. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

News

Manila and nearby cities will remain under a general lockdown next month amid a coronavirus pandemic, according to the presidential palace. President Rodrigo R....

News

PHILSTAR President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Friday night signed a measure creating a levy trust fund for coconut farmers, according to the presidential palace....

News

By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Friday signed a proclamation declaring fewer nonworking days this year supposedly to...

News

An inter-agency task force has approved a plan to inoculate FIlipino health workers against the coronavirus using vaccines from Chinese drugmaker Sinovac BIotech Ltd.,...

News

Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Friday night signed a measure that will fast-track coronavirus vaccine orders. “We are confident that the signing of...

News

The Philippine military is targeting to vaccinate 100 soldiers against the coronavirus daily once the first batch of vaccines from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd....

You May Also Like

When people envision technology overtaking society, many think of The Terminator and bulletproof robots. Or Big Brother in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a symbol...

Financial Advisors

Stock Markets9 hours ago (Jul 02, 2020 04:45AM ET) (C) Reuters. ROME (Reuters) – World food prices rose in June to post their first...

Economy

SAN FRANCISCO — The spread of the coronavirus has meant feast or famine for technology start-ups. While many are cutting staff and slashing costs...

Economy

In Wisconsin and Ohio, farmers are dumping thousands of gallons of fresh milk into lagoons and manure pits. An Idaho farmer has dug huge...

Disclaimer: Respect Investment.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us and our affiliates. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!