SEISS makes Rishi the biggest payer of subbies
11th November 2021 | Ian Anfield
We have an announcement to make. After more than two decades, Hudson Contract is no longer the biggest payer of subcontractors in the construction industry. We have been challenged by a new market entrant. So who is this new pretender to the throne?
Step forward Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer and architect of the government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, who has spent nearly £11bn of your money on paying subbies to stay at home during the pandemic in spite of the well-documented skills shortage.
We estimate the SEISS payout to the construction industry is equal to around 700 million man hours, more than enough to finish the never-ending Crossrail project in London, to start the endangered eastern leg of HS2 and to build several new schools and hospitals to boot.
Instead, the government decided to splash the cash on huge numbers of highly skilled subbies who said they were affected by Covid. Many of those paid out had left the country, worked and claimed at the same time, or took what was on offer to fund a year off despite there being more than enough work available to keep them busy.
Construction was the biggest beneficiary of SEISS. Another big beneficiary? Transportation and storage which also claimed billions. No wonder the UK was struggling to find enough delivery drivers.
Fortunately for the taxpayer and businesses, SEISS has come to an end, people are rolling up their sleeves and getting back to work and Hudson Contract has regained its title as the biggest – and best – payer of subcontractors in the construction industry.