Written evidence submitted by Richard Ward
May I first introduce myself. My name is Richard Ward and I am an angling charter skipper based in Whitby, North Yorkshire.
I am writing to you to comment on a couple of your points listed.
Firstly, may I comment on the Self Employed Income Support Scheme.
The financial sector within the government has done absolutely nothing to ensure any kind of support in the form of grants for our industry (Angling Charter). Evidently some local authorities (councils) have been given billions of pounds in aid to distribute to whom they think are ligible for assistance with their businesses with funding whilst the coronovirus stops us from working.
I know people who own holiday cottages and they have told me that they have received grants from the council as support, whilst they cannot operate. Some of these people don't even live in our town. I understand that they have received this because the properties are rateable.
I pay "harbour dues" for my business which is my boat. My boat is my workplace and my only source of income. Surely my "harbour dues" which I pay annually to the council equate to the same as someones rateable property? If so, then surely we should also be ligible for the same grant funding as the cottage owners.
We have been told that business loans are out there to help us, but who wants another noose around their neck at this critical time? Certainly not me, especially when grants are available. I have not worked since March 19th and have absolutely no money coming in whatsoever. I am relying on assistance from my 81 year old father which is simply not acceptable. I haven't paid my rent for the last 2 months which will have to be found also.
Secondly, may I comment on the economic impact from the Coronavirus outbreak and the social distancing within my sector when things start to re-open.
When the public are eventually allowed to start moving around again, I believe that there will be a large amount of people who are going to continue to be ultra careful due to the fear of this virus still being out there. This will consequently result in the amounts of customers I have dropping considerably. When I do get the go ahead to go back to sea, I would imagine that the only way I could ensure social distancing would be by only taking a handful of customers rather than a full compliment. This therefore would result in my takings being reduced dramatically. This is another reason why I believe that the government/councils should be assisting me in my hour of desperate need.
Thank you for reading my comments and I really hope that assistance will be forthcoming in the very near future.