Self Employed Construction - Rant

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Saltyhair81
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Self Employed Construction - Rant

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!

Rant over.

DougBaker
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Lets see what the Government come up with to help people like yourself. 

Some analysis of what they have already announced from the Resolution Foundation

Next steps to support family incomes in the face of the coronavirus crisis

Jonathan Kay
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That's *not a rant, that's a very helpful explanation of how it's affecting you, especially as lots of us don't understand each others' work. I still suspect that the Government would like to help the self-employed but don't know how.

Will they turn to crime?

Some types of crime will increase during and after the outbreak. As in the UK in WWII. I don't know if that sort of poverty will be a major factor driving that, but it would have major political effects.

Jonathan

* With one exception. :-)

Derek Batty
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Good to rant gets it of your chest ,,,thing is I was in building trade for 50 years before retired ,,and your right we get or got sod all unless paid for it ourselves,,no plenty of , young lads over the years said they were going in building trade ,,to em to forget it get some kind of public sector work will be better of in long run ,,speaking to a bloke I used to work with ,,few years ago ,still working at 67 gets his pension then ,,,friend of his went into fire service , got lump sum at 50 ,good pension ,and few months of then new job ,,

im not knocking the firemen ,so don't start at me ,,but think it is wrong ,,building trade used to be a good place to work ,,,,not no your looked on as peasants  

now I've had my rant for the day 

don't get me on about police that's as bad ,,

or gov workers retire between 55-60 ,

derek 

 

Gnockoff
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I sympathise with the OP, I really do, I have family members in the same boat and they are worried sh%^less.
Derek, I think it is unfair to compare jobs/pensions,  We all choose what we do in life and you chose one route, and I another. Shall I not mention that you live in Isle of Man and pay bugger all tax. 

Derek Batty
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#5 yes I no what you are saying about we choose our own path but ,,if your in the private sector ,,you get what you earn ,,if you work in a government sector ,,money and cost don't come into it much they just buy what they need and when cos it's a bottomless pit and the tax payer foots the bill ,,,,which is me ,,,,,I paid into a private pension ,returns were crap ,,public pay a small amount in but gov tops it up a lot ,,,,,,,,,,,,,    Yes I no I'm a whiling old fart 

I have no idea why everybody thinks if you live on the iom you don't pay much tax, ,,it's a pile of crap ,, yes our highest rate is 20% I think ,,and our allowance we get before we pay tax is a bit higher ,,,but we pay more for fuel food ect ,, so it balances out in the end ,,,only reason I came here ,,was to teach the gospel of E by gum ,and try to spread all my nolage (not spieling or english ) , to help them out 

Derek

aerobod
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Derek, I don't think you know how depts work in government. Yes there is a lot of waste in government spending, but I've seen as much in private companies, too. Government depts in the civil service are typically not awash with cash and any spending excess I saw when working for the MOD pales in comparison to what I've seen in the oil and IT industries. Budgets are typically quite constrained in the government depts I've worked with in both Canada and the UK and wages are typically a lot lower than in private industry for the same skill level, in exchange for better job security. Don't believe everything you see in the press or on the Internet.

James

Gnockoff
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"Public pay a small amount" Yeh right, try telling that to a Firey or the Old Bill.

Ivaan
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I'm also in a similar boat to the OP.

I run a Ltd Co as a consultant in construction, with one employee... me. I have a small PAYE salary, with the rest of my income coming from dividends. This used to be a tax efficient way of working, but with recent changes to the tax system, there's very little benefit, if any, for a lot of additional work and cost.

Luckily, I'm currently working enough hours / week to stay afloat. When this does run out, I'll have to "furlough" myself, and claim 80% of my PAYE salary. As for the rest, I'll get nought, so will have to live off of savings made for retirement. If I could get 80% of my normal total income, I would be fine. This isn't a complaint, just the way it is.

Lots of construction sites / developers have closed down, so there'll be lots of self employed with no income. A high proportion will have big mortgages, kids, cars / vans to finance etc, so am feeling really sorry for them. They've grafted hard for years to earn a living, and now it's being pulled away from them at no fault of their own.

Lets just hope this thing is gotten under control in the next few months, and we can start putting our lives back together.

( and get blatting again )

BECs Rule !
Saltyhair81
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To clear this up, I have also worked in both.

I'm a Sole trader builder and I used to be an Analyst for the MET Police. 

When the government put up the pension contributions in the Police, I stopped paying in and cancelled it because it was about £400 a month and the return over 30+ years was crap. I eventually left the Police as they treated me like utter shit, office politics and constantly reapplying for job was a joke and made me Ill. The plus side was the wage was always there so it gave some security.

The hours you put into being self employed are never paid for.  When I break down my hourly wage taking into account maintenance, business costs, tools, tax returns, accountants then actually doing my job, I'm not even on half the minimum wage. I am probably massively worse off doing what I do now.  I wouldn't however, change it.  
What I experienced working for the Police was an utter violation and I could have probably got a huge payout if I took them to court. Better to cut my losses anyway and run, which I did.  

Now to add to my anger, on a completely different topic, I didn't panic buy and got the essentials.  Looking online now to do a shop well in advance, 6 hour wait with Morrison's or Ocado.  Sainsbury's and Tesco have nothing for delivery at all on the calendar.  My dad called me to say even though he's 70, couldn't get in the shops this morning as people pushed in well under the age group whilst should be an oap.  

 I never realised it's such a dog eat dog world, I thought people were better then this.  The amount I have always put people before myself, things i have done for the community (used to volunteer with the parish council, ran community events etc). This whole experience is going to leave me with a very bitter taste in my mouth. Lots of people are thinking of the positives, I will come out of this different and probably not for the better! 

Lets hope things improve this week...

Alan Reeves
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Joe, 

i certainly empathise on a couple your points and the bit about if your or your nans estate have been prudent you get in effect penalised.

Keep your chin up 

A

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