A CUMBRIAN MP is urging the Chancellor of the Exchequer to use next week’s budget to catch those falling through the cracks of the government’s Covid-19 support packages.

In the House of Commons, South Lakes MP Tim Farron urged the Government to support those people who are missing out on financial support during this crisis such as directors of small limited companies (SLCs) and people who have become self-employed in the last 12 months.

Next week the Chancellor will unveil an emergency budget statement designed to tackle the threat of millions of job losses due to the coronavirus crisis.

Tim Farron said: “It is beyond me that the Government have not been able to find a package to support people who make their living by being directors of very small limited companies.”

“The Government could find ways of ensuring that directors of SLCs can get support.”

South Lakes photographer Steven Barber is one of the many affected and said “I work with a wide range of clients throughout the county in hospitality & tourism, arts & culture, health & education, architecture & construction.

“The work I had booked in for the next few months suddenly disappeared, but I was relieved when Chancellor Rishi Sunak made his speech about supporting the self-employed and that we would not be forgotten. My relief was short-lived when I found out he didn’t mean me or millions of freelancers and small limited company directors.

“It’s frustrating when others, quite rightly, were able to furlough themselves and receive grants when someone who takes a small PAYE wage and supplements their income with dividends gets the bare minimum and in many cases nothing at all, despite paying tax and National Insurance.

“I’m lucky to have a fairly solid client base in the Lake District but we’re all having a tough time and need reassurance we will get help now so we can hit the ground running when business begins to get back to normal. I hope Tim Farron gets cross party support and the Treasury listens.”