To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of making the proportion of previous earnings in the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme the same as that in the Job Support Scheme.
26 October 2020
The Government recognises the impact that the changing path of the virus has had on the self-employed, including those in peripatetic professions, and has taken action to increase the level of support available.
The support given to the self-employed via the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension (SEISS GE) will now be doubled, increasing the amount of profits covered from 20 per cent to 40 per cent. This means the maximum grant available has increased from £1,875 to £3,750. This will provide a further £3.1 billion of support to the self-employed through November to January alone, with a further grant to follow covering February to April. The Government is now providing broadly the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided to employees through the Job Support Scheme (Open).
For those requiring further assistance, the SEISS continues to be just one element of a comprehensive package of financial support for the self-employed. The Government has temporarily increased the Universal Credit standard allowance for 2020-21 and relaxed the Minimum Income Floor for the duration of the pandemic meaning that where self-employed claimants' earnings have significantly fallen, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings. In addition to this, the self-employed also have access to other elements of the package, including Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, and other business support grants.