Chancellor Rishi Sunak told Martin Lewis that coronavirus support for limited liability directors is no longer expected
How Martin challenged the Chancellor
Those who work through small limited companies of which they are directors (often because firms ask them to) have very limited government support available. And despite speculation in January that some sort of new income support scheme might be put in place to help them – speculation that Martin had warned at the time that it was unlikely to come to fruition – no additional aid was announced in this week’s budget.
Martin questioned the Chancellor on the show Thursday and read a question from a member of the public named Gemma who asked, “Why on earth have you expelled the directors of the limited liability company again? We swayed on the edge and you just threw us overboard. “
Martin added, “You say you don’t understand what the word business means. What have you got against limited liability directors that they are completely unsupported? “
Sunak replied, “I wouldn’t think it’s fair to say they are completely unsupported – there are so many things we’ve done.”
Martin replied, “There are universal loans and other little things, but they haven’t had the support that other businesses and the self-employed have.
To which Sunak replied, “Wait a minute, you can be on leave for your PAYE, your business can potentially benefit from a bounce back loan, and in your personal situation you can potentially benefit from a six month mortgage leave. There are all the other welfare changes too, that we made.
“It’s busy there, but the simple thing about the directors is that it was a real challenge. Me and my team have met with groups and looked at options and there is just no viable option.
“I’m giving you a Martin status that will hopefully help the people who are watching to understand this. For managers of business owners, there is no official definition of what this is. We think there are maybe about 600,000 of these people, however we don’t. ” I don’t really know because there is no official way that we know. We receive 3.3 million dividend tax returns – and we have no way of distinguishing between 3.3 million and 600,000 – whether this is actually the correct number.
“So if we were to provide assistance, it would mean that three out of four pounds of taxpayers would not go to the right people – and that is the challenge we have been facing.”
Martin then threw himself in again to challenge the Chancellor directly, saying, “I know some like the Small Business Federation say they believe they can solve this. Forgive me, can we handle the expectations? They won’t like the answer – is this door shut tightly? Limited Liability Company Directors No Longer Receiving Support?
Sunak replied, “Yes. We haven’t found a way and looked at all of the proposals that have been submitted.”