Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a ramped-up support package for the self-employed which will see 80 percent of their profits covered by the government.
Announcing the package in the government’s latest daily briefing this evening, Sunak said the Covid-19 outbreak had “shaken our country and our economy like never before”.
He announced that any self-employed individual will be able to claim a grant worth up to 80 percent of their business profits, up to a maximum value of £2,500 a month, to help them cope while the country is in lockdown.
The grants will be available, during a three-month period, no later than the beginning of June and the support will be made available by HMRC. The tax authority will also proactively contact those eligible for the grants.
The scheme will be open only to those who are already self-employed and have a self-assessment tax return for 2019. It will apply to small businesses with trading profits up to a maximum of 50,000 a year.
The Treasury has calculated that 95 percent of those who operate largely as self-employed individuals will be eligible for the scheme.
Sunak said the support scheme marks one of the “largest economic interventions at any time in the history of the British state, and in fact in any country in the world.”
When quizzed about people across the UK being forced to come into work, and being emotionally blackmailed to do so, Sunak passed the question to deputy chief medical officer, Jenny Harries, who said employers should "stick to normal principles of workplace health".