Friday, 27 March, 2020
Millions of self-employed individuals will receive direct cash grants though a UK-wide scheme to help them during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new scheme to support the UK’s self-employed through the Covid-19 outbreak. In the latest move to protect individuals and businesses, the Chancellor has set out plans that will see the self-employed receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least three months.
Those who are eligible will receive grants worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. This covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment.
The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018-19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19. To qualify, more than half of their income in these periods must come from self-employment.
The announcement brings parity with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, announced by the Chancellor last week, where the Government committed to pay up to £2,500 each month in wages of employed workers who are furloughed during the outbreak.
The scheme will cover the three months to May 2020. Grants will be paid in a single lump sum instalment covering all three months, and will start to be paid at the beginning of June.
Rishi Sunak said:
'Self-employed people are a crucial part of the UK’s workforce who've understandably been looking for reassurance and support during this national emergency.
'The package for the self-employed I've outlined … targets support to those who need help most, offering the self-employed the same level of support as those in work.
'Together with support packages for businesses and for workers, I am confident we now have the measures in place to ensure we can get through this emergency together.'
Applicants cannot apply for this scheme yet. HMRC will contact those who are eligible in due course and invite them to apply online.
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