AOP seeks a satisfactory response from Chancellor for workers who have missed out on Treasury support

The AOP highlights the five groups of members who have fallen through the gaps in support available

The Association of Optometrists (AOP), has written again to the Chancellor seeking a satisfactory response on five groups of workers who are missing out on Treasury support.

The AOP received a response on 15 July from the Treasury’s correspondence unit to its letters of 3 and 26 April and 10 June. However, the response did not answer the specific questions or address any of the issues raised about AOP members who are facing severe hardship because of gaps in the Treasury’s support for workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

In the letter, the AOP highlights the members who have fallen through the gaps in support available, including:

  1. Self-employed people who have not been self-employed for long enough to qualify for the scheme but now have no work because of COVID-19
  2. Self-employed people with incomes just above the £50k ceiling for support, who get no help at all as a result
  3. Company directors who route part of their income via dividends, even if that income is the result of work rather than unearned investments
  4. Employed people who have just changed jobs or were in the process of changing jobs
  5. People with "portfolio careers" who derive their incomes from both employed and self-employed work. If their self-employed income was less than 50% of their total income during the qualifying period, they are unable to benefit from the support to self-employed people

The AOP is very disappointed that the Treasury’s reply did not address these specific points.

The AOP notes that the Treasury Committee’s first report from its inquiry into the economic effects of COVID also draws attention to groups of workers who have lost out. It also notes that the Treasury Select Committee Chair last week again highlighted this lack of support, calling on the Government to act to save those who have fallen through the cracks. The AOP wholeheartedly echoes those concerns and is calling for immediate action.

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For media enquiries, please contact Mary Jones, Interim PR and Media Manager, at the Association of Optometrists, [email protected] or telephone 020 7549 2040.

Notes to Editors

Association of Optometrists

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is the leading representative membership organisation for optometrists in the UK. We support over 82% of practising optometrists, to fulfil their professional roles to protect the nation’s eye health. For more information, visit www.aop.org.uk