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Heartbreaking stories from some of the 3m people being excluded from financial support by the government

"I couldn’t even afford to eat, I was rationing my meals so I was only eating every other day."

These are the heartbreaking words of Chef Tim Smith who was excluded from financial support from the government because he was a new starter.

As many as 3 million self-employed workers have fallen through the cracks of the government’s furlough scheme with many plunged into poverty, forced to rely on food banks and some even facing homelessness. PAYE freelancers and other self-employed people haven’t received a penny of income support since the crisis began 

Tim said on Good Morning Britain that he lost £1,200-£1,300 every month during lockdown because he fell through the cracks of the government's furlough scheme.

Market trader and exhibitor selling hand made bath and home products Nadeen Khalifeh said she was entitled to just £19 support when she applied for the Income Support Scheme.

"All my savings are gone," she said. "I've had to start again from scratch."

Last year Nadeen's business was booming last year with savings in the bank and she had hoped to get a mortgage next year. That is all gone now.

Despite being able to return to work and continue operating her business, all her main sales opportunities at events with lots of footfall have been cancelled.

Financial expert and Executive Editor of Times Money Mentor Gemma Godfrey said the furlough scheme was broad when it was implemented but it needs to be fine tuned to make sure everyone is protected.

She says they should have been able to fix this issue in the seven months since the pandemic started and the problems are only getting worse.

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