Last night Rishi Sunak told the self-employed: “You have not been forgotten.”
A week after wage subsidies of 80% for furloughed salaried employees were announced, the 5 million self-employed workers of the country were left wondering if they’d be getting the same treatment.
So Who Applies for the New Grant?
Mr Sunak revealed the following criteria for the latest grant:
- Self-employed people will be able to apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month.
- 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.
- Unlike the employee scheme, the self-employed can continue to work as they receive support.
- The money, backdated to March, will arrive directly into people’s banks accounts from HMRC, but not until June.
- The grants will be taxable, and will need to be declared on tax returns by January 2022.
- Company owners who pay themselves a dividend are not covered.
Concerns Over Speed of Payment
The money – up to a maximum of £2,500 a month – will be paid in a single lump sum, but will not begin to arrive until the start of June at the earliest.
Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said he was worried the money would come “too late for millions”.
“People need support in the coming days and fortnight… there is a real risk that without support until June the self-employed will feel they have to keep working, putting their own and others’ health at risk.”
Until the lump sum comes through any self-employed worker can claim on Universal Credit if they find themselves out of work.
You can see the full guidance on the GOV.UK website