06:14PM, Thursday 26 March 2020
Grants for self-employed people will match those for workers currently in furlough, it was announced this afternoon.
At 5pm today (March 26), Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced measures to protect the incomes of self-employed people against disruptions due to coronavirus.
The Government’s new self-employed income support scheme will allow plumbers, electricians, taxi drivers, driving instructors, hairdressers, child minders, musicians and many other self-employed people to claim grants – while continuing to do business, if they can.
The Government will pay self-employed people who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus a taxable grant equivalent to 80 per cent of their average monthly profit over the last three years – up to £2,500 a month.
The grants will be available to anyone who makes most of their income as a self-employed worker, and is open to anyone with trading profits of up to £50,000.
“95 per cent of people who are self-employed will benefit from this scheme,” the chancellor said.
“This is unlike almost any other country and makes our scheme one of the most generous in the world.”
The changes will come into effect ‘no later’ than the beginning of June. The scheme will be open for at least three months and will be extended if necessary.
In the meantime, self-assessment income tax payments due in July this year can be deferred until the end of January 2021.
Self-employed people may also additionally be entitled to universal credit, depending on the financial situation in their household.
To minimise fraud, the grants are only available for existing self-employed people – i.e., those who are able to file a tax return for 2019. Anyone who missed the filing deadline in January will have four weeks from today (March 26) to do so.
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