Self-employed support extended for three months

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Self-employed support extended for three months

Support to help the self-employed through the coronavirus lockdown has been extended for a further three months.

Speaking at the daily government briefing today, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced those eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) can apply for a second and final grant in August. The grant will be worth 70 percent of their average monthly trading profit and will be paid out in a single installment to cover three months’ worth of profit. The grant will be capped at £6,570 in total.

So far, 2.3 million claims worth £6.8bn have been made under the SEISS scheme. Workers who are eligible can continue to apply for the first SEISS grant until 13 July for 80 percent of their average monthly trading profit, capped at £7,500 in total. Applications for the second grant will open in August.

Commenting on the extension, Sunak said: “Our economic response to coronavirus was designed to keep people in work, protect people’s incomes, and support businesses, all to give us the best chance of recovering quickly as the economy reopens.”

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed welcomed the “lifeline”. Director of policy Andy Chamberlain said: “It will be an overwhelming relief for many self-employed people that the government has heeded our calls and extended SEISS. The scheme is a vital lifeline for millions of people, and it is absolutely right that the government keeps it running.”

But he added: “The government should watch the situation carefully and be ready to step in if the UK’s self-employed need more support. It is also vital that the government does not ignore the self-employed who cannot access this scheme. At the moment, groups like freelancers working through limited companies and the newly self-employed have patently been forgotten. We urge the government to consider these groups and also help them through the coming months.”

The move comes after more than 100 MPs signed a letter to the chancellor calling for an extension to financial support for self-employed workers.