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Spalding accountant says next three months are crucial

Just over 70 per cent of self-employed people in South Holland applied for Government support to help them through the lockdown period

Latest figures show that 4,000 claims were made for the Self-Employment Income Support scheme out of a potential 5,600 eligible people in this area.

The statistics also show that fewer people in this area were furloughed, when 80 per cent of their wages were paid by the Government.

A total of 12,400 employments were furloughed out of 50,300 eligible employments in the constituency.

Neighbouring South Kesteven recorded 21,000 claims to furlough jobs.

This has been put down to South Holland’s importance in food production but there are concerns for the future.

Alistair Main, a director at Duncan and Topliss, who represents South Holland on the Lincolnshire Chamber Assembly, says the next three months will be key.

He said: “While the statistics show that we as an area have had less of our workforce furloughed than the national average of 32 per cent, which is not a surprise given the importance of food production key workers to our employment in this area - and we thank all these workers for their hard work over the last months.

“That is still a quarter of employees who would otherwise have been at risk of losing jobs that have been supported through the scheme.

“As a business we ourselves have assisted our clients across our whole East Midlands region to make furlough grant claims totalling around £10m and some of the more local areas across our offices have seen rates significantly above those seen here.

“The hope is that now as people return to work with the opening up of more parts of our economy and schools returning that we will not start to see a wave of redundancies as the scheme is withdrawn, and in this respect the next three months are going to be key.

“The self employed have clearly been hit harder, largely are they are either the first costs saved by businesses and that they are more likely to work in industries that have not yet been able to reopen fully.

“What these figures also do not show are those that were not eligible for either scheme, and have therefore received no additional support, due to the way in which the rules were written, for example a lot of newly self employed have ended up being excluded due to previous employment income.”

Self-employed were able to claim 80% of their average monthly profits up to £7,500.

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