A County Durham wedding DJ has criticized the government for plans to keep self-employed people waiting for financial support until the end of April.
At the budget on Wednesday, the Chancellor announced that from the end of April a fourth scholarship can be applied for via the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
It extends from February to April, with a fifth scholarship being made available from May.
However, worried self-employed people have expressed concerns about the waiting time between this grant application and the last one, which opened in November.
MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis also took to Twitter to say the decision would be a “blow” to many self-employed who are “now desperate for the money”.
Chris Dye, who performs as “the ultimate wedding DJ” and is applying for the SEISS scholarship, said the decision was a “slap in the teeth” and more needs to be done to support the wedding industry.
Chris of Chester-le-Street said, “We had no support at all in the wedding industry.
“There weren’t any grants or anything, so I had to get a temporary job to see things through.
“But getting a temporary job is a bit different from what we earned before, so we depend on the SEISS scholarships.
“I read that it will be the end of April or the end of May.
“You also take into account the last four years of income you had, which I think is a bit ridiculous as the vacation is based on what you earned just before the pandemic, while our award is based on what we did before.” four years have earned.
“Many people who have just started their own business and were not able to apply can now apply.
“It’s pretty complicated because two months have been missed that have been forgotten.
“November wasn’t that bad because it was November, December, January.
“This last one is February, March, April, which is a long time.
“I feel like all that happens is that they are helping the same business. So if you qualified for the grants to begin with, money will be pelted at them all the time.
“We didn’t get anything at the beginning and now we don’t get anything.”
Chris, 45, said the lockdown roadmap was unclear for the wedding industry as well, meaning it is still fraught with uncertainty.
He said, “So for the wedding industry, we don’t even have a roadmap because the roadmap that is being advertised gives the earliest dates but doesn’t really tell us what we can do within a wedding.
“Couples need to deal with it but it is still under review but as of the 12th close.
“In May we are allowed to have 30 people, but again we don’t know what to do.
“But then there are pubs and clubs that can advertise bands, bingo evenings, karaoke, anything, but we don’t know what we’re allowed to do.”
(Image: Daily Mirror)
The Chancellor also came under fire after saying in the fall that jobs in the wedding industry were “unprofitable”.
This meant that the additional financial measures announced by Rishi Sunak would not help them.
Chris said: “We have had quite a lot of bookings since the announcement, but the hardest part for us is when the Chancellor said last year that we are not viable.
“After that announcement was made, people started canceling because they feared the industry would go bankrupt.
“Since the roadmap announcement on Monday, bookings have increased quite a bit, there have been people who have postponed and canceled, but it has increased.
“It just goes to show that what the government is saying really affects people.
“A bit of encouragement last Monday and the bookings came in when they said we were not available and everyone wanted refunds.”
Although lockdown restrictions are gradually easing, Chris fears the wedding industry is still struggling and will be the last to reopen fully when the lockdown
He said, “Personally, I’m quite concerned there is nothing I would rather do than if it goes as planned.
“I am concerned because they have nothing clear. Retailers have been told they should be open on that date, but we haven’t been told yet.
“Because we are the last to open properly, if something goes wrong, it rolls towards us.
“Last summer we had 30 people and had a wedding or two, but when it got to 15 after that, the shutters kind of rolled down for the industry.
“This is the pretty difficult piece. Aside from the lockdowns, we haven’t officially closed.
“There has been a lot of support for other industries that need them, but there has not been any support for the wedding industry.”