Chancellor gives support to millions of self-employed individuals

Marco Green
March 26, 2020

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will contact them directly with an online form and the money paid straight into their bank account.

Mr Sunak had previously promised to cover 80 per cent of the salaries of Brits who are in employment but, as it stands, the self-employed can only claim Universal Credit - which he raised to £94.25 a week - if they need to abandon work.

"95 percent of people who are majority self-employed will benefit from this scheme".

The much-awaited announcement today (Thursday) was directed at musicians, electricians, taxi drivers, childminders and hairdressers.

Any freelancer or contractor whose profits exceed £50,000 a year will be excluded as well as anyone who has newly become self-employed and did not fill in a self-assessment tax return for the past year. It targets support to those who need help most, offering the self-employed the same level of support as those in work.

Sunak added: "There will be challenging times ahead and we will not be able to protect every single job or save every single business, but I'm confident that the measures we've put in place will help millions of businesses, families and self employed people to get through this".

To qualify, more than half of their income in these periods must come from self-employment.

He said: "And to minimise fraud only those who are already in self-employment who have a tax return for 2019 will be able to apply".

The new taxable grant will be available for three months and Sunak says will be extended if research shows it needs to be. This will be calculated using average monthly profits over last three financial years but will be capped at £2,500 per month.

The scheme has been designed after extensive engagement with stakeholders including the TUC, the Federation of Small Businesses and IPSE - The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed. Now a self-employment income support scheme has been introduced by the Government, but what does this provide?

'For many people that have seen their businesses disappear in the blink of an eye, things like statutory sick pay or universal credit just isn't enough, ' Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce told the BBC's Today Programme this morning.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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