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Self-employed: Coronavirus

Question for Treasury

UIN HL942, tabled on 9 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken in the last three months to support self-employed people who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered on

23 June 2021

The Government announced at Budget 2021 that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue until September, with a fourth and a final fifth grant. This provides certainty to business as the economy reopens and means the SEISS will continue to be one of the most generous schemes for the self-employed in the world.

The fourth SEISS grant was available to claim from late April to 1 June, and was worth 80% of average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of annual profits, and capped at £7,500 in total.

The fifth and final SEISS grant, covering May to September, will include a turnover test  in order to ensure that the most generous support is targeted at those who need it most. This will determine whether individuals can continue to receive a grant worth 80% of three months’ average trading profits, capped at £7,500 or a 30% grant, capped at £2,850.

Further, the SEISS is just one element of a substantial package of support for the self-employed. At Budget, the temporary £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance was extended for six months, and the Government also extended 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 can continue to take into account their lower earnings. In addition to this, they may also have access to other elements of the package, including Restart Grants, the Recovery Loan scheme, business rates relief, and other business support schemes.

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