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Budget reactions: “I earn 27 pence a year between us” | Fall 2021 budget


The small business owner

“In normal times, the risks would be lower”

Lewis English, 34, said that while there was a lot of talk about business in the budget, there was nothing for small businesses like his ‘that are really trying to grow and innovate’ .

English, who runs a marketing consulting firm, was looking for “some kind of help for small businesses looking to grow,” such as additional funding to help hire staff.

“The biggest problem is getting the capital to grow quickly. I want to grow, but I don’t want to ruin my business by doing it, ”he said. “Right now, to manage my risk, I’m hiring entrepreneurs. To grow my business I would like a researcher, but investing £ 30,000-35,000 in new staff in uncertain times seems like too big a risk.

The new 50% discount on professional rates for the retail, hospitality and leisure industries won’t help Englishman, who lives in Cambridgeshire and has a three-year-old son. Some of the other measures were aimed primarily at large companies, he added.

Risks for companies like his have been exacerbated by uncertainty about the future due to Covid and Brexit. “In normal times, the risks would be less. “

He was hoping for some kind of extension of the Kickstart program that creates jobs for young people. He said that as an idea Kickstart “works really well”, but it was the logistics that were the problem. “I have been waiting for three months for my advertisement in the employment office to replace my old kickstarter.

English said he had not received any government support linked to Covid for his business. “I had more support from online groups like [the] Independent heroes [portal] that of the government… All the risks I had yesterday are the same risks today.

The scientist

“I have no job security”

Dr Liz King.

Dr Liz King, a scientist at Keele University working on tropical diseases, was one of many unhappy with the sharp cuts in government research spending announced earlier this year. She welcomed the Chancellor’s addressing some of the budget concerns, but said there were still a number of uncertainties.

Dr King, whose work involves human infectious parasites, said ahead of the budget that cuts to official development assistance (ODA) “have worsened an already precarious labor market. As a scientist working on neglected tropical diseases, which have been largely ignored, it is so disheartening that the government has decimated our funding. “

The move was prompted by drastic cuts to the foreign aid budget – from 0.7% of GDP to 0.5% – blamed on the UK’s soaring Covid bill. Rishi Sunak said in his budget speech the government should be able to restore the rate to 0.7% – but some commentators have said it likely won’t return until 2024-25.

Dr King said she was happy to see the issue resolved, but 2024-25 was a long way off, and “that’s not helping people right now… what are we going to do in the meantime?”

When asked how she manages financially, Dr King said: “At this point in my scientific career, I’m basically an entrepreneur, and my ability to get research funding or be hired for my next role. has become much more competitive due to these cuts, as well as the huge transfer of funding to Covid projects… I am engaged and I am the main breadwinner [but] I have no job security.

The caregiver

“I do that 27p per year between us better off”

Tim Milléa.
Tim Milléa.

Tim Millea, 54, sought a sharp increase in the caregiver’s allowance “to support the silent army of those who keep loved ones at home and out of paid care.” He takes unpaid care of his disabled 83-year-old mother.

Millea said he was “very disappointed” with the budget, adding: “There was nothing for unpaid caregivers, poor retirees and, very surprisingly, no increase in the hot house discount. I thought. that aid targeted at the energy bills of the most disadvantaged had already been reported.

“The only mention of anything that will affect us is 3p on a pint of draft beer or cider. My mom and I go to a pub about six times a year for a meal with her old friends. I’ll have a pint of cider and it’ll have a half-bitter. I earn 27 pence a year between us – a little eclipsed by inflation set at 4% on average for next year or even the 40% overnight increase in our energy costs since our failed supplier was taken over by British Gas.

Millea taught at the University of Reading until 2004 when he started his own real estate business in Turkey. It collapsed when the 2008 financial crisis hit. “Since then, I have only been able to find a temporary part-time teaching position at the local university. I now live with my mother to take care of her full time. My mother receives child care allowance due to her disability, and I receive child care allowance.

Care allowance is £ 67.60 per week and is paid to someone who looks after someone for at least 35 hours per week and receives certain benefits. Millea, who lives near Huddersfield, said £ 1.93 an hour or less for care was “just unbearable. The national minimum wage should be the benchmark for full-time caregiver allowance ”.

The heavy truck driver

“You would be lucky to get between £ 10 and £ 12 an hour in Somerset”

Ross Hemsworth.
Ross Hemsworth. Photograph: handout

Ross Hemsworth is a heavy truck driver and musician, and said that while there is help for the transportation industry in the budget, there isn’t much for individual drivers like him.

Hemsworth, 64, married with four children, works as a hire driver – he has his own limited liability company which he has had since 2018. Based in Somerset, he has been a truck driver1 since the early 1990s and wanted more money. devoted to “upgrading” in the southwest, particularly in terms of public transport.

When asked how he manages financially, he replied, “Scratching is probably the best term. We keep the bills paid, but we are not in the position we could or should be in. “

Hemsworth said that although there had been reports of the big bonuses that some companies offered to truck drivers, these were “usually related to a lot of the fine print” that went unreported – for example, a no one could have to work for the company for at least a year or they get it back, or the bonuses can be withdrawn under various scenarios.

For work on heavyweights 1, “you would be lucky to get between £ 10 and £ 12 an hour in Somerset… enough to live on. This is another reason why drivers leave the company.

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