March 30, 2020
On Thursday 26th March it was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak that the government would support the self-employed with 80% of their average income up to a maximum of £2,500 each month – much like the statement made a week earlier that businesses would be supported by finances to cover their employee’s wages in a similar format. The original announcement on 20th March was followed by an unsettling period for the self-employed waiting to hear if they would also be supported financially. Of course, this is fantastic news for the private hire and black cab drivers making up the taxi community. Average salaries will be worked out and up to £2,500 per month in grants will be paid out to those who work for themselves for at least three months with the possibility of being extended if necessary.
A Ground-Breaking Scheme
The chancellor said of the plan: “Self-employed people are a crucial part of the UK’s workforce who’ve understandably been looking for reassurance and support during this national emergency. The package for the self-employed I’ve outlined today is one of the most generous in the world that has been announced so far. It targets support to those who need help most, offering the self-employed the same level of support as those in work. Together with support packages for businesses and for workers, I am confident we now have the measures in place to ensure we can get through this emergency together.”
The grant will be available to any of those who completed and returned a tax return for financial year 2018/2019 and who’s self-employment status provides them with 50% or more of their total income. The government is also allowing those who missed the January deadline to complete their returns a further four weeks to do so. Those who believe they are entitled to this should not contact the HMRC now – instead the HMRC will identify those who are eligible for this based on the tax return information and will be in touch with those affected directly. The grant will initially be paid for the three months up until May, with the possibility of being extended if necessary.
For the full statement and details on this scheme, please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-gives-support-to-millions-of-self-employed-individuals