Self-employed can claim £2,500 monthly grants during virus pandemic, chancellor announces
PUBLISHED: 18:03 26 March 2020 | UPDATED: 19:15 26 March 2020
Self-employed workers will be able to apply for monthly grants of up to £2,500 to help them through the coronavirus crisis, chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced.
Speaking at the government’s daily press conference, Mr Sunak said self-employed people will be claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their monthly profits over the last three years.
The scheme will be open to anyone with trading profits of up to £50,000.
However, the system is not expected to pay out any money until the start of June at the earliest.
The move comes a week after Mr Sunak announced a bumper £330billion finincial package to support British businesses, with the government stepping in to pay 80% of employees’ wages to prevent lay-offs.
The government had received backlash for not announcing measures for the self-employed, though prime minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that a new scheme was in the works.
Many self-employed workers said they had been left to claim universal credit, which equates to less than £100 a week.
Under the new scheme, the self-employed would be paid the money in one lump sum.
Mr Sunak said self-employed workers had “not been forgotten” by the government during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He added: “Our action plan to beat this pandemic is the right thing to do but we know that people are worrying about their jobs and their incomes.
“Working closely with businesses and trade unions, we have put together a coherent, coordinated and comprehensive economic plan.
“I’m proud of what we have done so far but I know that many self employed people are deeply anxious about the support available for them.
“To support those who work for themselves, I am announcing a new self-employed income support scheme.
“The scheme I have announced is fair. It is targeted at those who need it the most and, crucially, it is deliverable.
“It provides an unprecedented level of support for self-employed people.
“These last ten days have shaken our country and economy like never before.
“What we have done will, I believe, stand as one of the most significant economic interventions at any point in the history of the British state and by any government anywhere in the world.”