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Pandemic pushes 1m freelancers into debt


A report from freelancer trade body IPSE shows that more than a fifth of Britain’s 4.5m self-employed workers have taken on credit card debt to make ends meet amid the coronavirus crisis. The analysis shows that one in seven has become overdrawn and more than a quarter have emptied their savings. Almost a fifth of self-employed workers polled said they will need to borrow to pay tax bills come the end of the business year. The IPSE report shows that a third of sole traders have accessed the self-employed support scheme rolled out by the Chancellor, while a fifth of company directors have used the furlough scheme. However, a number of freelancers have been excluded from state aid schemes, including PAYE contractors, the newly self-employed and those who pay themselves in dividends. Figures show that the number of self-employed workers has fallen from around 5m before the COVID-19 outbreak to around 4.5m today.

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