26 March: Support for self-employed people, at last
Having been under pressure for the past week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced measures to support self-employed people whose earnings have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Self-employed income support scheme (SEISS)
- Those who are already self-employed and facing financial difficulties are asked to apply.
- The scheme will cover up to 80% of average profits over the past three years, up to £2,500 per month, for at least three months.
- Those with trading profits of more than £50,000 are not eligible.
- Eligibility is determined with reference to earnings in 2018/19 as reported on tax returns filed this year.
- What next? Application will be to HMRC via an online platform, yet to launch. The grants probably won’t be available until June 2020, backdated to 1 March. In the meantime, self-employed people who can’t work are expected to claim universal credit, access to which was broadened in the Spring Budget.