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Debate in Commons

Sunak facing new calls to help ‘forgotten’ directors

Rishi Sunak at Tory conference 2020

Rishi Sunak is assessing the scheme

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will come under further pressure today to provide greater parity in financial support for directors of small limited companies who have fallen through the gaps of available coronavirus support.

Mr Sunak has been assessing a proposal drawn up by the Federation of Small Businesses, the Forgotten Ltd campaign, former Office for Tax Simplification adviser Rebecca Seeley-Harris and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

It would pay up to 80% of lost trading profits of many self-employed workers such as plumbers, engineers, and freelance musicians who pay themselves in dividends. 


There are about 946,000 non-employing companies and 1.1 million micro-entities that set themselves up as director-owners. 

A new Directors Income Support Scheme would offer these businesses grants of up to £7,500 and would be limited to those who earn less than £50,000 a year.
Owen Thompson, the SNP Midlothian MP – and member of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Gaps in Support – will lead a debate in the
Commons today to pressure the Treasury into getting the scheme adopted.

Mr Thompson said: “For over ten months now, the directors of small limited companies have been amongst the three million still excluded from UK government support schemes.

“The foundations have already been laid for the Directors Income Support Scheme – the Treasury has very little work left to do. This proposal removes many of the excuses the Tory government has made for not providing support.

“The scheme, which would mirror the existing Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, would not be reliant on dividend income – so removes many concerns about fraud – and would be easy to administer.

“It will not provide support for all three million excluded and the UK government needs to address this, but it is an essential step in the right direction and would help a huge number of businesses to keep going. 

“The Treasury has had these proposals on their desk for six weeks and yet it still has not given a response.”

Support for weddings

A £25 million fund to support the wedding sector and its supply chain will open to applications this week, including £10m which has been added to the fund announced in December.

Launching on Thursday (28 January) the fund will provide one-off grants of up to £25,000 for eligible businesses in the sector impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including wedding venues, photographers, caterers and suppliers.

The fund will be managed regionally by Scotland’s three enterprise agencies – South of Scotland Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Finance Minister Kate Forbes said: “This £25 million fund will ensure one-off grants of up to £25,000 reach eligible business as quickly as possible and there is no equivalent fund in other parts of the UK.”

Visit Find Business Support for more information

Businesses must be in one of the following sectors;

  • Venues
  • Videographers
  • Photographers
  • Marquee Hire (includes tipi)
  • Wedding Attire
  • Florists & Event Stylists
  • Caterers
  • Cakes
  • Transport (not including taxis)
  • Event Supplies (Cater hire, decorative items)
  • Hairdressers & Make-up Artists (Non-mobile)
  • Entertainment (Band, DJ, Piper, String Quartet)
  • Jewellery Designers/Makers/Sellers
  • Wedding Exhibitions/Events
  • Wedding Publications or Listing Sites
  • Celebrants
  • Wedding Stationery
  • Other Specialist Niche Suppliers (Photo Booth, Event nannies, event planners etc)


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