MILLIONS of self-employed workers will get vital state aid help for three more months – but the government is only paying 70 per cent of wages.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak made the announcement on the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme today during the coronavirus briefing.
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So far, the scheme has helped 2.3million workers with grants worth up to £7,500 but it comes to an end on Sunday.
Today the Chancellor confirmed that the scheme will be extended for three more months – but the government will only pay up to 70 per cent of wages, down from the previous 80 per cent.
That means self-employed can claim a max of £6,750.
You still need to earn under £50,000 to qualify and the grant will be paid in a lump sum.
It's open to new and existing workers claiming from the scheme, when it opens in August.
The Chancellor said: "I know people have been waiting to what whether the scheme will be extended.
"It will be extended with applications opening in August for second and final grant."
He also praised The Sun for giving self-employed workers a voice during the coronavirus.
Rishi Sunak praises The Sun
By Chancellor Rishi Sunak
I’ve always held a special respect for those who work for themselves.
The hard graft of millions of self-employed people form the backbone of our economy.
Recently we’ve been staying at home saving lives – with many businesses shutting their doors.
Hairdressers, brickies, carpenters, café owners and many other self-employed people have seen their industries suffer as a result of the virus.
It hasn’t been easy.
That’s why I’ve done everything in my power to help them through these tough times.
Our self-employment scheme is one of the most generous in the world and has helped 2.3m people survive the peak of crisis with £6.8 billion of support so far.
I want to congratulate The Sun for giving these people a voice during these tough times. And I want to reassure people that this support will continue.
I’m extending the scheme, so eligible self-employed workers can claim a second grant as we kickstart the economy.
We stood behind self-employed people as we came into this crisis. And we will stand behind them as we come through the other side.
The Chancellor also confirmed changes to the furlough scheme, including how much businesses have to pay and how workers can return part-time.
Without the crucial help millions of self-employed workers face an income shock as they are still unable to work due to coronavirus.
Last night 113 MPs from all parties including a string of senior Tories signed a letter to the Chancellor demanding he extends the self-employment scheme.
They warned that hundreds of thousands of self-employed people will be without work and without support from next week.
Self-employment grant: who can claim?
YOU can claim if you're a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:
- have submitted your self assessment tax return for the tax year 2018/19
- traded in the tax year 2019/20
- are trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus
- intend to continue to trade in the current tax year (2020/21)
- have lost trading profits due to coronavirus.
So far the income support scheme has cost £6.8 billion.
For more details on who can apply for the scheme and how it works, read our guide.
We also explain how the furlough changes could affect you.
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