#CallYourMP Campaign

INDEX

1. VIVA LA PD CALL TO ACTION – what are we hoping to do?

2. OUTLINE – why are we doing it this way?

3. WHAT TO DO – step-by-step guide for calling and writing to your MP

4. LETTER TEMPLATES – 2 options


1. VIVA LA PD CALL TO ACTION

The Treasury Select Committee (an influential group of cross-party MPs) recently recommended changes to the Government’s coronavirus support schemes. If implemented, these changes would provide a financial lifeline to many in our sector currently unable to work. That's why it's now absolutely vital we continue to make our voices heard, individually and collectively; more loudly THAN EVER BEFORE.

However, the Government isn’t obliged to implement the Committee’s recommendations. So far, it has resisted any changes to the schemes. Meanwhile, the struggle for many of us gets harder.

So it’s absolutely vital that we continue to make our voices heard, individually and collectively, and even more loudly.

We continue to make strong representations to Government officials and influencers in Parliament. They now know who we are and understand much more clearly the harm our exclusion from support schemes is causing.

But we need your help too. To stand any chance of securing that financial lifeline, we need to use all channels available to us to pressure Government Ministers to make the changes called for by the Committee — and contacting your local MPs will help, even if you've contacted them already!


2. OUTLINE

It’s far more difficult to ignore a real human voice on the end of a phone or a face in a video meeting, than it is to dismiss a letter. This campaign is designed to appeal to MP's human nature by hearing the real human impact of those who have fallen through the gaps on the government’s schemes, followed up with a letter asking the MP to raise concerns in parliament and make representations to government ministers.

Some of you might not have the time or the desire to speak to your MP, or may struggle to reach them. If that’s the case, we would urge you to write to them setting out your concerns.


3. WHAT TO DO

  1. Find your local MP’s contact details by clicking here: https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP make a note of their constituency phone number and their email address.

  2. Pick-up the phone and call the number listed i. OPTION 1) Ask to register for a surgery appointment with your MP if they are running them via Zoom in lockdown. Hopefully they will be able to arrange this with you over the phone or email for later in the same week. ii. OPTION 2) If the MP is not running Zoom surgeries, ask to speak to them on the phone. You may have to explain to the staff member what you want to talk about, or even just speak to them if the MP is unavailable. But before you go into detail with them, politely but firmly explain that you would like to speak to the MP if possible.

  3. Explain in your own words that you have fallen through the gaps of the government’s coronavirus jobs schemes. Be personal – this is the key bit here, explain the real impact this is having on you and your family. Be honest about how tough it’s been, and how it’s had a negative impact on you financially.

  4. Mention that you’ve read online about the Treasury Select Committee’s report into those who have fallen through the gaps. Ask your MP if they can and will support the Treasury Committee’s findings, and make representations to the Chancellor, the Treasury, and the Prime Minister. Ask them to raise their concerns in parliament.

  5. Remind them why you need the help and talk about the emotional impact this is having on you.

  6. Tell the MP or staff member that you will be following up with an email with more details, and a video with a case study.

  7. Thank the MP for taking the time to talk to you.

  8. Use the following template and send them an email following up on your call (or if you were unable to call, scroll down for an alternative email):


4. LETTER TEMPLATES

**MAKE SURE YOU DOWNLOAD AND ATTACH THIS PDF**:

Viva La PD - Briefing Note on exclusion
Download • 177KB



IF YOU SPOKE TO YOUR MP ON THE PHONE:

Dear [NAME OF MP], Many thanks for your time recently, I appreciate the opportunity to raise my case with you directly. [INSERT PERSONAL DETAIL HERE TO REMIND THEM ABOUT THE CALL – INCLUDING A SMALL APPEAL TO THEIR BETTER HUMAN NATURE].

Please watch the following video to see the real impact the gaps in the scheme are having: https://youtu.be/5N2QmhMk6xw

As I mentioned, I saw the report published by the Treasury Select Committee on Monday June the 15th titled the “Economic impact of coronavirus: Gaps in support”, which reiterated many of the concerns and recommendations that are affecting me. The report stated that “it cannot be right that distinct groups of individuals fail to benefit from the Government’s principal support schemes when the shutdown has taken away their livelihoods overnight, through no fault of their own”

I therefore ask you to support the Committee’s recommendations, that the government revise and backdate its support schemes to address the following issues (also set out in the attached briefing note):

  • Removal of the 50k freelance earnings cap (as the report states, “the Government must tackle the cliff edge that exists in the design of the SEISS by removing the £50,000 cap and allowing those with profits just over this cap access to some financial support, up to the total monthly support cap of £2,500 as [it is] for salaried employees” Paragraph 37)

  • Support for Ltd Company directors who pay themselves in dividends (via the IPSE’s recommended approach outlined in Paragraph 46)

  • Support for PAYE freelancers (providing 80% of their average monthly income earned in the first 11 months of the 2019–20 tax year, based on their PAYE tax record, up to a total of £2,500 per month – see Paragraph 53)

  • Support for the Newly self-employed (by undertaking an urgent review, to explore how those starting out can be supported whilst mitigating risks – Paragraphs 58/59)

  • Support for new starters (who, as the report itself states, either through “their unfortunate timing in starting a new job, or their employer’s choice of timing in submitting paperwork to HMRC, will have made them ineligible to be furloughed and unable to claim support… perhaps by further extending the cut-off date to 31 March, or widening access by accepting alternative forms of evidence that can demonstrate an individual’s employment, such as a signed contract of employment” - Paragraph 29)

If implemented, these reforms would provide a lifeline to those thousands of families and people like myself. 

As such, I would be grateful for your support in encouraging the Government to implement these vital recommendations, whether via a question in the Commons and/or representations to other Ministers.

Many thanks for your time and consideration. Kind regards, [YOUR NAME]

[YOUR ADDRESS]

**MUST include your ADDRESS inc. POSTCODE to verify that you are a constituent of theirs!** -----------------------------------------------------------------


IF YOU COULD NOT SPEAK TO YOUR MP:

Dear [NAME OF MP], I am writing to you because as my local MP I need your help. The recent pandemic has hit a lot of people hard, and unfortunately I am one of those struggling as I am not eligible to help from either of the government’s support schemes. [ADD SOME PERSONAL DETAILS HERE ABOUT HOW MUCH OF A STRUGGLE IT’S BEEN – INCLUDE EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL DETAILS]

Please watch the following video to see the real impact the gaps in the scheme are having: https://youtu.be/5N2QmhMk6xw

I therefore ask you to support the Committee’s recommendations, that the government revise and backdate its support schemes to address the following issues (also set out in the attached briefing note):

  • Removal of the 50k freelance earnings cap (as the report states, “the Government must tackle the cliff edge that exists in the design of the SEISS by removing the £50,000 cap and allowing those with profits just over this cap access to some financial support, up to the total monthly support cap of £2,500 as [it is] for salaried employees” Paragraph 37)

  • Support for Ltd Company directors who pay themselves in dividends (via the IPSE’s recommended approach outlined in Paragraph 46)

  • Support for PAYE freelancers (providing 80% of their average monthly income earned in the first 11 months of the 2019–20 tax year, based on their PAYE tax record, up to a total of £2,500 per month – see Paragraph 53)

  • Support for the Newly self-employed (by undertaking an urgent review, to explore how those starting out can be supported whilst mitigating risks – Paragraphs 58/59)

  • Support for new starters (who, as the report itself states, either through “their unfortunate timing in starting a new job, or their employer’s choice of timing in submitting paperwork to HMRC, will have made them ineligible to be furloughed and unable to claim support… perhaps by further extending the cut-off date to 31 March, or widening access by accepting alternative forms of evidence that can demonstrate an individual’s employment, such as a signed contract of employment” - Paragraph 29)

If implemented, these reforms would provide a lifeline to those thousands of families and people like myself. 

As such, I would be grateful for your support in encouraging the Government to implement these vital recommendations, whether via a question in the Commons and/or representations to other Ministers.

Many thanks for your time and consideration. Kind regards, [YOUR NAME]

[YOUR ADDRESS]

**MUST include your ADDRESS inc. POSTCODE to verify that you are a constituent of theirs!**

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