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Legal Profession: Self-employed

Question for Treasury

UIN HL12678, tabled on 27 January 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Bar Council Self-Employed Bar Survey, published on 21 January; and what plans they have to provide financial support to self–employed legal professionals.

Answered on

10 February 2021

The Government recognises that many taxpayers, including from the legal profession, have faced substantial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and is committed to supporting them through a comprehensive package of support.

The Government has introduced the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), which allows eligible self-employed individuals who have been affected by reduced demand or have been unable to trade due to COVID-19, which they believe will lead to a significant reduction in their trading profits, to claim grants. Further details on the SEISS, including the fourth grant, will be announced on 3 March.

In addition, the Government has made available other elements of support. The Universal Credit standard allowance has been temporarily increased for 2020-21 and the Minimum Income Floor relaxed for the duration of the crisis, so that where self-employed claimants' earnings have fallen significantly, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings. In addition to this, they may also have access to other elements of the package, including Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

Businesses that are legally required to close due to COVID-19 restrictions may also be eligible for cash grants from the Local Restrictions Support Grant of up to £3,000 per month. In addition, these businesses will benefit from one-off grants of up to £9,000 as announced on 5 January. Businesses which are not eligible for these grants for closed businesses may be able to benefit from the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG).

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