Sunak announces new grant for self-employed workers

Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced that self-employed workers will be able to apply for a taxable grant worth 80% of their average earnings over the last three years.

As part of an emergency package of measures for the UK’s self-employed workers announced in tonight’s Downing Street briefing, Sunak revealed the Government's new ‘self-employed income support scheme’ will be capped at £2,500 a month, initially lasting for three months.

The Chancellor confirmed the scheme will be open to anyone with trading profits up to £50,000, and to minimise fraud will only be open to those who are already self-employed, and have a self-assessment tax return for 2019.

The move comes after the Government announced last week that it would to step in and help to pay 80% of wages for employees not working as a result of the coronavirus crisis – also up to £2,500 a month.

Tonight, Sunak announced that government support for the self-employed constitutes an “unprecedented level of support” and that ministers had worked to make sure the scheme is “targeted at those who need it the most”.

He also warned, however, that the Government will not be able to protect every single job or protect every single business.

The Chancellor suggested the scheme would benefit 95% of people in the UK who earn the majority of their income through self-employment. He said the remaining 5% have average incomes of £200,000, and that it is a “very generous scheme and treats them with same parity as the employed”.

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