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MRS 'Disappointed' with Government's Covid-19 Response

April 17 2020

In an update to members regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, MRS Chief Executive Jane Frost has said she is 'disappointed' that the UK government has not yet found a way round the issue of remunerating directors of limited companies who take all their income from dividends.

Jane FrostOn 19th March, Frost (pictured) wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, warning of the 'immediate and potentially catastrophic impact' of the Covid-19 crisis on the industry. She followed this up with a second letter twelve days later outlining 'simple things' that could be done to underpin the sector, which do not require new policy initiatives or systems. Specifically, she suggested that if the support already given to 'the face to face sectors of hospitality and leisure' be extended to the market and social research sector, the government could still save it from possible 'irreparable harm'.

In a statement to MRS members dated yesterday, Frost expressed her disappointment that the UK government has not yet addressed the issue of limited company directors' remuneration, adding that there are a 'reasonable number' of small operations in the sector which are set up on this basis. However, she explained that the issue was being readdressed, and suggested that an open letter from accountants to the government - pleading for more to help small businesses survive the impact of coronavirus - could be influential. In the members' statement, she also expressed concerns about the low success rate of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), because of signs of 'significant variation' in the requirements demanded by banks.

Frost disclosed that the MRS policy team is working closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to address all these issues, and said she had also been part of a sector round table with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) yesterday. 'I am very proud of the agility and determination MRS has demonstrated in protecting and promoting the interests of our sector, as well as realigning our own member services to suit this new environment. We continue to run full tilt at government', she added.

Web site: www.mrs.org.uk .

All articles 2006-20 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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