SIR, – I was greatly dismayed to hear recently of widespread abuse of the government's coronavirus 'self-employed income support scheme.'

Due to the widespread nature of the scheme, it is clearly much too difficult for HMRC to police adequately and it seems that all it takes is for someone to say their business has been affected by coronavirus – regardless of whether this is the case or not – to get the grant.

I have heard of self-employed farm workers and contractors claiming between £4000 and £7500, and then opening stating their business has not been affected and that they are still able to complete their normal work load.

How can such people sleep at night? As a taxpayer, this boils my blood as it is the money that I and many others have worked hard to earn. There are families in poverty-stricken areas of our country, with no income, surviving on feed banks and Universal Credit due to job losses brought on by Covid-19 and who actually need this money.

Our country is on its knees and the money required to pay the coronavirus income support schemes will still likely be getting paid off when our grandchildren and great grandchildren are kicking about in 50 years time.

People will argue they have done nothing wrong, but I refute this and see it as comparable to stealing the money from a road-side farm shop's honesty box. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

And as far as those doing the egg, sugar, shot challenge and donating £5 to the NHS after pillaging the public purse – don't bother.

Angry and disappointed

(Name and address supplied).