Lifeline for self employed
The big news for the self employed today is that Rishi Sunak, the chancelor, has promised to pay us 80% of what we might expect to earn based on our previous tax returns. He will do this for three months, reviewing it again after that, up to a maximum of £2500 per month. Obviously there is be a bit of small print attached, which includes the fact that we won't receive anything till sometime in June - anyone without any savings is a bit desperate. I can't imagine how they can suddenly set up a whole department to process the millions of claims in the next three months. I'll have to join the queue to see what they can offer me. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
In exchange I'll be happy to busy myself with whatever volunteering support I can offer to avoid meltdown of the NHS and of the country. My volunteering application is currently being processed (along with over half a million others). I'm astonished how whole organisations can pop up in the click of a finger to manage these huge new systems and schemes.
In acknowledgement of the work being done by the NHS at 8pm last night the whole country was invited to stand outside their doors and clap, cheer, bang pans and make a noise together. For anyone working in the NHS it was an emotional moment - everyone really did unite to show their support. I improvised a fanfare on my trombone outside our door.
A queuing system has been set up for all supermarkets. We have to queue to get into the shop, each standing at least 2 metres apart. In Waitrose it was nearer 5 metres apart the other day - maybe Waitrose shoppers are more cautious. It does mean that when you're in the shop it's blissfully calm though. I went to Morrison's because the queue was shorter, but any time I saved I suspect I wasted trying to find items. Generally the store was well stocked but with gaps for particular items: I left without kitchen towells, oven chips, butternut squash, risotto rice, vegetarian sausages!
I did some shopping for my mum, but having delivered it I worried about passing germs to her via the items. I later advised her to wash them all and then wash her hands, although all our hands are now so dry from handwashing that we feel reluctant to do it too often.
People working in construction have been told they can still go to work as long as they stay 2 metres apart - obviously the government wants as much of the economy
to keep going as possible, so three men arrived this morning (together in a van) to fix our roof. They had found a building merchants open yesterday to buy our new coping stones (an ironic name given the situation now!) and hoped to get the job done today. As a responsible member of the public should I have advised them not to come? I made them a cup of tea but I'll make sure I clean their mugs properly.
I'm still getting a trickle of money in from gigs I played before the clampdown. Payments can sometimes take weeks (even months). A little frustrating sometimes but it does help when gigs are thin on the ground.
Right, now I'll get back to my daily routine. I know some people say their houses are now tidier than ever but ours isn't, and I still get to the end of the day having only done half of what I planned.