Chancellor Rishi Sunak Unveils Self-Employed Income Support Scheme Covering Up To £2,500 Per Month For Those Affected by Coronavirus
26 March 2020, 18:11
Rishi Sunak said self-employed people, who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, will be able to get 80% of their monthly wages covered by the government.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has revealed self-employed people facing financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic will be eligible to receive support from the government.
The self-employed income support scheme will give people a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly earnings over the past three years and be capped at £2,500 a month.
It is expected to be available 'no later than June’ and run for a minimum of three months.
It will be open to people who get their main income from self-employment to avoid the risk of fraud.
He said: "HMRC are working urgently, we expect people to access it no later than the beginning of June. If eligible, HMRC will contact you with an online form, they pay the grant straight to your bank account."
The support scheme will only be open to those who have filled in a self-assessment tax return for 2019 and have trading profits up to £50,000.
The chancellor explained it will cover 95% of those who are self-employed, as Rishi Sunak explained that the other 5% have average incomes of £200,000.
He said: "It is a very generous scheme and treats them with the same parity as the employed."
For those who have been self-employed for less than three years, he explained that the Treasury will look at what they do have.
1/ I’m proud of what we’ve done so far, but I know that many self-employed people are deeply anxious about the support available for them.— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) March 26, 2020
So to support those who work for themselves, today I am announcing a new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. pic.twitter.com/wJQZzNFOCH
In regards to those who are very recently self-employed, he said it is not possible to operate a scheme like this as there is too much ‘fraud’ at risk, but insisted it would cover the vast majority of people who need it.
He said: "We will not be able to protect every single job and save every single business."
Addressing the nation, Rishi Sunak said he knows the public are 'deeply anxious about the support available for them', but insisted that the scheme has been put in place to reassure those who are freelance workers.
Concluding the conference, he added: "Today was about providing reassurance to the millions of people who are self-employed and are anxious about their security and livelihoods.
"You haven't been forgotten, we will not leave you behind and we are in this together."