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British Acupuncture Council welcomes support measures for self-employed

British Acupuncture Council welcomes support measures for self-employed

The chief executive of the British Acupuncture Council has warmly welcomed steps by the government to help the self-employed but warned that not being able to access funds before June could be problematic.

Jennifer Norton said the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak this evening [26 March 2020], would provide a ‘lifeline’ to self-employed acupuncturists, but those in need of immediate financial assistance may  struggle.

The measures were announced as part of a raft of economic assistance being delivered by the government during the coronavirus lockdown.

Ms Norton said: “I welcome the move by the Chancellor to support self-employed people durng these unprecedented times to provide parity with employed people.

“But I am concerned that there remains a lag and our members may not be able access these funds until June. Although the Chancellor assured us that they can access emergency funding, we have heard from members that this may not always be the case in reality.”

Ms Norton added that the British Acupuncture Council continues to support its members and, when the time comes, will lobby the government on behalf of members to support them in rebuilding their practices.

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will offer a taxable grant of up to 80 percent of income, based on tax returns over the past three years, capped at £2,500 a month.

The scheme will cover those who paid tax on up to £50,000 of income in 2018-19 and who make the majority of their earnings from self-employment.

Up to 95 per cent of self-employed people will be eligible, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said.

He added that claimants must have filed a tax return in 2019, although he has allowed four weeks for anyone who missed the deadline of 31 January this year to file their tax return now.

The grants will be available to people for at least three months.

However, he said the scheme will not be up and running until the beginning of June at which point HMRC would pay a single lump sum directly into people’s bank accounts.

He said people in ‘immediate and desperate need’ would be able to access support through Universal Credit and advance payments would be available ‘almost immediately’ after a claim was submitted. He said extra resources had also been pumped into local authorities to help people with council tax bills.

Sunak said steps had been taken to make the support both ‘deliverable’ and ‘fair’ and the package represented one of ‘the most generous self-employment support schemes anywhere in the world’.

Combined with measures to support those in employment, the comprehensive economic plan would help to protect the NHS’s ability to cope and therefore save lives, he said.



Notes to editor

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For a full list of British Acupuncture Council press releases visit the newsroom.

About the BAcC

The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) has a membership of nearly 3,000 professionally qualified acupuncturists. It is the UK's largest professional body for the practice of acupuncture. BAcC members practise a traditional, holistic style of acupuncture diagnosis and treatment based on a system developed and refined over 2,000 years. To achieve BAcC membership, practitioners must first undertake extensive training in traditional acupuncture (minimum three years full-time or part-time equivalent), which includes physiology, anatomy and other biomedical sciences appropriate to the practice of acupuncture.

Traditional acupuncture

Traditional acupuncture as practised by members of the BAcC is based on Chinese medicine principles that have been developed, researched and refined for over 2,500 years. Traditional acupuncture is holistic, not focused on isolated symptoms. It regards pain and illness, whether physical or mental, to be a sign the whole body is out of balance. Western or medical acupuncture is a more recent development practised predominantly by doctors and physiotherapists, who use acupuncture techniques within their existing scope of practice on the basis of a western medical diagnosis. There is a growing body of evidence showing how effective acupuncture is in a range of conditions:

Why use a BAcC practitioner?

Only British Acupuncture Council members belong to a Professional Standards Authority accredited register, providing professional guarantees of safety, education and continuing development (

Look for the letters MBAcC after the name of your acupuncturist to ensure:

  • extensive training – minimum three years degree level – with relevant western medicine including anatomy and physiology
  • adherence to BAcC codes of safe practice and professional conduct
  • compliance with current health and safety legislation
  • full insurance cover for medical malpractice and public/products liability
  • mandatory continuing professional development to keep knowledge and skills up to date
  • postgraduate study of special interests such as pain management and acupuncture for children

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