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Highland Labour MSP Rhoda Grant calls for extended payment holiday for self-employed people struggling during the coronavirus crisis


By Gregor White

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MSP Rhoda Grant.
MSP Rhoda Grant.

A Highland MSP has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in a bid to have payment holidays extended for those in difficulty due to restrictions still in place for some self-employed business owners.

Labour MSP Rhoda Grant said "While some businesses are preparing for reopening in coming weeks, others are not able to get back into operation yet and this will leave an even bigger hole in their finances if they have to start making monthly repayments again while being unable to gain any income.

"The holidays on mortgage payments and other bills was a lifeline to many self-employed people in the early days of the outbreak.

"Many of these payment holidays, however, are due to cease in July, meaning some business owners will have to start repaying these again even though they may still be unable to work due to the restrictions in place.

"I have therefore written to the Chancellor asking if government is negotiating a longer term for mortgage holidays and such like, for those who need it."

She continued: "I also understand a further round of payments are to be awarded to the self-employed which is very welcome and I am seeking clarity on whether these further payments will automatically be passed on to people who previously received them or if people will have to reapply for this.

"While it is good to see some restrictions being lifted and people prepare for reopening, that’s not an option for everyone right now and those unable to restart at this stage need further support meantime."

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