Government confirms 80% grant, but don’t expect money till June

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced help for the self employed with a package of measures aimed to ease the pressure on hard pressed families, the new Self-employed Income Support Scheme is open to workers across the UK for at least three months and may be extended should the lockdown continue longer than expected.

All self employed workers will be allowed to take the grant while still doing business.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who unveiled the package of support for self-employed workers facing financial difficulties, said the scheme was the “most generous in the world”.

He announced that the scheme’s income threshold would cover 95% of the self-employed working in the country.

Example of how self-employed support scheme would work

Many self-employed construction workers carry business expenses of around 25% of turnover, so if tradesmen with a top-line income of £800/week spend £200 on expenses (travel, tools, insurances, accountancy etc) profit would be £600/week or £2,400/month. 80% of that would be £480/week or £1,920/month.

To target support to those most in need it would be open to people with trading profit up to £50,000 and is only available to those who made the majority of their income from self-employment.

To minimise fraud only those with a tax return for 2019 will be allowed to apply.

People will be able to access the scheme no later than the beginning of June and HMRC will contact those who are eligible. Until that time workers are being advised to apply for Universal Credit to tide them over for the next two months.

Sunak added that for those who didn’t have three years of returns, the Government would look at the last year only, but he warned that those who had no self-employed tax record would not receive support.