I need to get this off my chest as it's really winding me up!
So I am a sole trader in the construction industry. This current situation is horrendous, and I am sure everyone wants this over as quickly as possible.
Currently, almost all builders merchants are closed.
I have materials at a job that would see me through for three weeks however; the customer is 73, has a heart condition and his wife has a list of allergies longer then my arm. Taking this all into consideration, I would not feel comfortable working there so I have called work off until further notice, doing what I believe is right. Plus; I don't think we are a necessity to go out anyway; unless it's an emergency.
Obviously the government want to keep construction sites open so they don't have to pay the self employed builders and to keep houses being built.
Does this then mean, if they do find a channel and way to help the self-employed, construction will be exempt? I currently am not entitled to even 1p under the universal credit as we have a small amount of joint savings that I have paid into since I was 16 (currently 34), that puts us over their £16k limit. If this goes on for 3/ 6/ 9 weeks, what happens then? I'm not worried about subsidising my bills with my savings, but being expected to pay out 100% for everything that I saved extremely hard for, when others are getting 80% pay? Why am I being penalised for saving! Hundreds of others must be in the same boat.
My friend I work with has a huge mortgage, wife off work with a new born too. He only moved into the house last year. He has £5k savings that will be gone in 2 months if he cannot work. Apparently his application is 81000 in the queue for universal credit, that won't even touch the sides anyway on his bills. His mortgage break is processing but they have said it can take up to 2 months as they don't have the necessary forms and system to process. They have already taken his most recent payment.
We have always paid tax, always on time and neither of us have ever claimed for anything.
Being told your self assessment is being deferred doesn't help, means you just backdate it all and pay it in one hit, and how are you expected to pay for something when you have earned no money and burned all your savings staying afloat?
If people are being put in this situation, and are on the bread line, what happens? Mass rioting? Are they expected to starve and be made homeless? Will they turn to crime? I'm just throwing some thoughts out there, this situation goes much much deeper then just being locked down. I understand it's not the governments direct fault with the virus, however they need to step up with us.
My family personally have already self funded my Nans care for her dementia from her estate, that has cost in excess of £300k so far and all the money is nearly gone. I've paid in excess of £20k for treatment and therapy for my mental health privately as I was told the NHS couldn't help. My family; friends and I are not sponges. I do plenty of free jobs to help people, I discount my prices for the elderly. Sometimes you have got to start asking the questions!
It's pretty obvious that the country will be going into recession when this ends, and there will be a long backlash to this truly awful time.
On a positive note, we are alive, for now!