Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a series of financial rescue measures to help the self-employed through the coronavirus crisis.
This could be of some comfort to many in the UK catering equipment supply chain, which includes a band of self-employed workers such as engineers and design- and business consultants.
In today’s governmental address to the nation, Sunak detailed the establishment of a self-employed income support scheme.
The government will pay self-employed people who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profit over the last 3 years, up to £2,500 a month.
The scheme will be available for at least 3 months, with the government extending this if necessary.
Sunak commented: “We are covering the same amount of income for a self-employed person as furloughed employees.
“That’s unlike almost any other country and makes our scheme one of the most generous in the world.”
The rescue package is open to anyone with trading profits of up to £50,000 – those who make the majority of their income through self-employment. However, it will be restricted to those who are already in self-employment who have a tax return for 2019, though the chancellor further detailed that anyone who missed the filing deadline in January will be allowed 4 weeks from today to submit their tax return.
“95% of people who are majority self-employed will benefit from this scheme,” claimed Sunak.
Eligible workers will be contacted by HMRC directly and asked to fill out an online form, then the grant will be paid into the required bank account.
The self-employed income support scheme can be accessed from the beginning of June. But for support measures in the meantime, Sunak detailed that the self-employed can access the previously announced coronavirus business interruption loan, self-assessment income tax payments that were due in July can be deferred until January 2021, and the government has also changed the welfare system so that self-employed people can now access universal credit in full.
Sunak stated that a in certain circumstances a self-employed person can also receive welfare support up to £1,800 a month.