To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take to support self-employed workers to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
9 March 2021
The Government has announced that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue until September, with a fourth and fifth grant. This provides certainty to business as the economy reopens and means the SEISS continues to be one of the most generous income COVID support schemes for the self-employed in the world.
Individuals will be able to qualify for the new grants based on their 2019-20 tax returns. This means that over 600,000 self-employed individuals may be newly eligible for the SEISS, including many new to self-employment in 2019-20.
The fourth SEISS grant will be worth 80% of average trading profits. The fifth and final SEISS grant providing support in the summer will include a turnover test (similar to those in operation in other countries’ schemes) to ensure that the most generous support is targeted at those who most need it.
Through this crisis, the Government will spend over £33billion supporting those in self-employment through the SEISS.
Those ineligible for the SEISS may still be eligible for other elements of the support available. The temporary £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance has been extended for six months, and the Government has decided to extend the suspension of the Minimum Income Floor for three months to the end of July 2021, 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 have access to other elements of the package, including Restart Grants, the Recovery Loan scheme, business rates relief, and other business support schemes.