James has warmly welcomed the announcement of additional financial support for the self-employed during the Covid crisis.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme – helping many of our country’s self-employed workers: the musicians, the sound engineers, the plumbers, the electricians, the taxi drivers, the hairdressers, the childminders, the driving instructors, and many others.
Through this scheme, the Government will pay self-employed people a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month – that’s unlike almost any other country and makes our scheme one of the most generous in the world.
The Government have extended the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme for three months–so that people will be able to claim a second and final grant in August. Individuals whose livelihoods are adversely affected by coronavirus will be eligible for further support worth 70% of their average monthly trading profits, capped at £6,570 in total. The eligibility criteria are the same for both grants, and individuals will need to confirm that their business has been adversely affected by coronavirus. An individual does not need to have claimed the first grant to receive the second grant; for example, they may only have been adversely affected by coronavirus in this later phase
Commenting James said:
“I know there are incredibly tough times ahead, but these measures will support millions of people, businesses and self-employed workers. By working together and thinking of others around us we will get through this.”
The new scheme is targeted at those who need it the most and designed to be deliverable:
- We are launching the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, to make sure people who work for themselves are getting the financial support they need. The Government will pay self-employed people across the whole UK who have been adversely affected by coronavirus a grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month, for three months – but we will extend it for longer if necessary.
- We will make it simple for self-employed people to get the financial support they need. Self-employed people who are eligible will be contacted by HMRC directly, asked to fill out a simple online form, and HMRC will pay the grant directly into their bank account. We expect people to access the scheme by the beginning of June.
- We are ensuring our support reaches those self-employed people who are most in need of it. The scheme will only be open to those with trading profits up to £50,000, leaving 95 per cent of people who are majority self-employed eligible for the scheme. HMRC will also ask people to demonstrate that the majority of their income comes from self-employment, and, to minimise fraud, only those who are already in self-employment, and who have a tax return for 2019, will be able to apply.
This builds on the support that is available to self-employed people:
- For self-employed people who are struggling now, we’ve also made sure that many will be able to access loans through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme. This scheme provides loans of up to £5 million, which will be interest free for twelve months.
- Supporting people through the welfare system so that nobody is penalised for doing the right thing. We will make it quicker and easier to access benefits. Those on contributory ESA will be able to claim from day 1, instead of day 8. And we are relaxing the requirement for anyone to physically attend a jobcentre – everything can be done by phone or online.
- Suspending the minimum income floor for twelve months – meaning self-employed people can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate that is equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.
- Deferring income tax self-assessment payments for July until the end of January 2021.
For further details on making a claim under the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme go to: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme