Sarah Coles, a personal finance analyst at HL, reflected on the challenging environment facing self-employed workers.
She said: “Those who bore the brunt of the financial pain of the pandemic are still worse off a year on from the start of the crisis. People on lower incomes, the under 30s and the self-employed continue to reel from the blows.
“The under 30s were quicker to lose income and be placed on furlough, so they’re more likely to have seen their income drop during the crisis. This has devastated the finances of millions of younger people, which is why more than half of them couldn’t afford an unexpected £850 expense out of the blue right now.
“Self-employed people have also faced more than their fair share of the pain, as they were often quick to lose work, and an awful lot of people fell through the safety net of the government support schemes. It’s no wonder they ransacked their savings, and 1.8 million people weren’t in a position to pay their tax bill by the January 31 deadline this year.
“Those on lower incomes were likely to be less financially resilient from the outset. Smaller budgets have far less wiggle room, so drops in income caused enormous problems both for their finances and their state of mind.
“But nobody has been entirely untouched. Even those earning £40,000 a year or more say their work has been impacted. They were six times as likely to say their working relationships were affected than those earning less, and those who were employed were twice as likely to struggle with working from home. This may be related to the difficulty of managing people and influence company decisions remotely.”