Calls on chancellor to extend self-employed assistance scheme

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Calls on Chancellor to extend self-employed assistance scheme

Over 100 MPs have urged the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak to extend financial support to the self-employed where contractors and freelancers can claim 80 per cent of their earnings, from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The scheme where self-employed, contractors and freelancers receive COVID-19 financial support from the Government which equates to a maximum of £2,500 a month is set to end this weekend.

A cross-party group of 113 MPs signed a letter sent by Labour’s Siobhain McDonagh to Mr Sunak. The letter states:

This scheme is a lifeline for millions of locked-down workers right across the country,” the letter says.

There are already significant holes in the support, but removing what is already in place would pull the safety net from under the feet of millions of self-employed workers.

How can it be right for the furloughed scheme to continue but this scheme to not?

At the same time, the letter did congratulate Mr Sunak regarding the programme but stated that if it was to end this weekend, the self-employed could be badly hit financially.

Mr Sunak said in May, that the programme was “under review” but since then no indications have been given. Yesterday (28/05/20), Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said that the scheme was “under review”.

It was announced on the 12/05/20 the furlough scheme offered to full-time employees had been extended to October and also made more flexible as it allows staff to work part-time. The furlough rate paid to employees was to remain at 80 per cent but employers would have to share the cost of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) from August onwards.

So far the self-employed furlough scheme has seen 2.3 million employees sign up to it, whereas the furlough scheme for permanent employees has seen 8.4 million workers sign up to it.

This is despite Kingsbridge, a specialist insurance broker predicting the scheme would only benefit 3.8 million of the 5 million self-employed workers in the UK.

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