To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward the next grant for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme to assist people who require support now.
22 February 2021
The Government is committed to supporting the self-employed population during the COVID-19 pandemic through a substantial package of support.
The three Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants combined provided up to £21,570 of support for each individual, placing the SEISS among the most generous schemes for the self-employed in the world. As of 31 December, about 2.7 million individuals have made claims totalling over £18.9 billion so far across all three grants.
The claims window for the third grant closed on 29 January 2021. The Government committed on 24 September 2020 that there would be a fourth grant; details of which will be announced alongside other economic updates at Budget in March.
The SEISS is not intended to provide a month-by-month replacement of income. Due to the volatility of self-employed income and the lack of granular data that HMRC hold on self-employed trading profits, precise mapping of income replacement month by month is not possible. Instead, the SEISS provides a lump sum payment to support eligible self-employed individuals whose businesses have been affected by coronavirus.
The SEISS continues to be just one element of a substantial package of support for the self-employed. In addition to the SEISS, individuals 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.