Aid for the Self-Employed Announced

‘We have not left you behind, we all stand together’ – Rishi Sunak

Yesterday evening Rishi Sunak announced the long awaited measures to help the self-employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is a run down of what was announced:

  • Self-employed workers can apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits
  • This is up to a maximum of £2,500 a month and will paid in one lump sum starting in June
  • At least half their income needs to have come from self-employment as registered on the 2018-19 tax return filed in January – anyone who missed the filing deadline has four weeks from now to get it done and still qualify
  • The scheme is open to those who earn under £50,000 a year – up to 3.8 million of the 5 million people registered as self-employed
  • Company owners who pay themselves a dividend are not covered
  • Those who have only just started as self-employed are not covered by these measures, they are expected to go to the benefits system for support

Sunak admitted that coming up with a plan was ‘difficult’ as the self-employed are a ‘diverse population’ and wages differ immensely. He added that this “fair, targeted and deliverable” plan would help 95% of the people who earn the majority of their income via self-employment.