The coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic is having a devastating impact on people across the UK and the world. While emergency measures such as mortgage holidays, Universal Credit changes and a package for furoughed workers have been announced, many have been left wondering whether any financial help will be made available for those in self employed work.
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Today, Rishi Sunak delivered a statement during the Government’s daily update amid the coronavirus crisis.
Speaking from Downing Street, he told the self employed: “You have not been forgotten. We will not let you behind.”
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Mr Sunak continued: “To support those who work for themselves, today I am announcing a new self employed income support scheme.”
The Chancellor announced a taxable grant worth 80 percent of their average monthly income over the past three years – up to £2,500 a month.
The government will play self-employed people who have been adversely affected
It will be open across the UK for at least three months, and Mr Sunak said he would extend it for longer if necessary.
However, Mr Sunak said that this would be available from the beginning of June, with the payments being backdated to March.
Mr Sunak said that to ensure that the he grant is for those who are “most in need”, the scheme is open to anyone with trading profits of up to £50,000.
It is available to people who make the majority of their income from self employment.
According to the Chancellor, 95 percent of people who are majority self employed will benefit.
Commenting on the announcement on Twitter, Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis wrote: “June is late. I think they are expecting people to claim Universal Credit, and use tax savings to get them through until the June payout.”
Speaking ahead of the live special of The Martin Lewis Money Show, he continued: “#Selfemployment summary
– 80 percent of profits up to £2500/mth
– Profits on 3yrs avg, nowt if over £50k
– Must’ve done self employed 2018/19 tax return
– Payment by June (backdated?)
– Cashflow meanwhile biz interrupt loans, use tax set aside, and Uni credit MORE IN MY SHOW 8:30 ITV.”
John Ellmore, Director of KnowYourMoney.co.uk said “Yet another bold move by the Chancellor. Regardless of one’s political leaning, the government’s determination to ‘do whatever it takes’ to get the UK through COVID-19 is certainly admirable.
“Indeed, the complexity of calculating income for the self-employed will have been an incredibly drawn-out process. Whilst understandable, this support might have come too late for some.
“Many freelancers and self-employed people will already be seeing their finances stretched to breaking point. So, the government must fast track the implementation of this policy.
“Ensuring the clear communication of exactly who is eligible for this support, and how they can access it will be vital. Otherwise, many people’s finances might struggle to bounce back.”
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