CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak’s “can’t protect everyone” mantra might as well be “won’t” for many across occupations including health and social care and construction.

There are millions of people who are self-employed, mostly people who work for themselves or who are business owners, but also freelance and agency workers, and many have received critical grant support despite delays and deplorable decisions.

Who is it he’s not helping when ten per cent of self-employed people are 65 or over, and one in five working men and one in ten women are self-employed?

Office for National Statistics figures for 2019 show that just 3% of employees are over 65. Two-thirds of self-employed people are men, about 3.3 million, with 1.7 million women self-employed.

Biggest area for men is construction, biggest for women is the health and social work industry.

Of the series of grants for self-employed people, none has really quite managed to cover everyone.

HeraldScotland: Notes: Self-employed people can have multiple self-employed statuses, so total does not equal 100%.Notes: Self-employed people can have multiple self-employed statuses, so total does not equal 100%.

Many must wonder why it took so long for the Chancellor to include a further 600,000 people in his Budget this time.

John McAuslin, Johnston Carmichael tax partner and head of corporation tax, said in a post-Budget Herald discussion that “one of the gaps that he hasn’t quite addressed yet are those ones who have their own companies and some of their earnings have been taken through dividends and therefore they haven’t been able to purely due to the way the calculation is made”. Some people newly self-employed during 2019/20 may also still be left without help.

HeraldScotland:  Chancellor Of The Exchequer, Rishi Sunak stands with the Budget Box outside 11 Downing Street.Picture by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images Chancellor Of The Exchequer, Rishi Sunak stands with the Budget Box outside 11 Downing Street.Picture by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

It’s not just people who are self-employed who have found the Chancellor less than protective.

READ MORE: Ian McConnell: Tory response portrayed as something of wonder but reality is very different

Business Editor Ian McConnell writes in his post-Budget column that Mr Sunak’s “dilly-dallying was giving employers a major problem in terms of visibility on support and, experts believe, triggering many job losses”.

There was a good run for FTSE leisure and travel stocks post-roadmap “but the reality is the leisure industry faces an extremely challenging and uncertain few months to come,” writes Scott Wright, Deputy Business Editor, in his column this week. Mitchells & Butlers, owner a vast portfolio including the famous Horse Shoe Bar in Glasgow, took steps to raise a “critical £351 million from investors to safeguard its financial stability”.

HeraldScotland: Thousands of people work in Standard Life operations in Edinburgh. Picture by Gordon Terris.Thousands of people work in Standard Life operations in Edinburgh. Picture by Gordon Terris.

A venerable Scottish institution’s move over a moniker attracted interest after appearing in Mark Williamson’s column this week. “The Standard Life name must be one of the best known in the UK pensions world but Edinburgh-based Standard Life Aberdeen has apparently decided it has no need for it,” he writes, as he examines whether this bodes ill for Scotland’s once mighty pensions industry.

Speaking ahead of the Budget in Kristy Dorsey’s employment focus, Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, contended “furlough, or the successor to it, needs to continue for a minimum of nine months, and thereafter should be consistently reviewed based on the rate of economic recovery and the employment situation”. It is likely there will be some form of furlough support for the longer term but given the Chancellor’s tendency towards less rather than more roadmap visibility we probably won’t know until the last minute. Surely Mr Sunak’s other slogan “our plan is the right one”, should be “our new plan is the right one”.