Liberal Democrats

Why we're fighting for the self-employed

We’re calling on the Government to extend and expand the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Here’s why👇

By Liberal Democrats, Jun 11, 2020 12:06

Taxi drivers, hairdressers, cleaners, childcare providers and millions more self-employed people have seen their incomes evaporate as people rightly stay at home to save lives. They desperately need the Government to support them.

We're urging the Government to extend the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme in full until October

When the Government announced the furlough scheme for employees back in March, there was nothing for self-employed workers. So the Liberal Democrats campaigned for a package for the self-employed that is as generous as that for employees.

We won. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme is a lifeline for millions.

Then we successfully campaigned for the scheme to be extended from 3 months to 6 months, meaning that millions of people will get an extra grant in August.

But the Government’s scheme still leaves out far too many self-employed people.

Those who became self-employed since April 2019, those who operate as limited companies, and many freelancers are excluded.

So now we’re urging the Government to expand the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to cover the many self-employed people who are currently excluded.

The coronavirus crisis is leaving thousands of families facing financial hardship. We must ensure no one is left behind.

 

What is the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme?

The Government’s scheme offers grants to self-employed people to cover lost earnings due to the coronavirus crisis. It consists of two phases:

The first phase, which opened in May, offers a single grant worth 80% of your self-employed earnings for three months, capped at £7,500 altogether.

The second phase, due to open in August, will offer another grant worth 70% of your self-employed earnings for three months, capped at £6,570 altogether.

Earnings are calculated as the average of your trading profits over the last three tax years.

Who is eligible and who isn’t?

The scheme is available to self-employed people who traded in 2018-19 and 2019-20 and intend to continue trading in 2020-21, and whose trading profits are no more than £50,000.

The Government has excluded far too many self-employed people from the scheme, including more than 150,000 people who became self-employed since April 2019, those who are registered as limited companies and freelancers who got more than 50% of their earnings through employment.

What are the Liberal Democrats calling for?

We are also calling on the Chancellor to expand the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to cover the many self-employed people who are currently excluded – including people who became self-employed since April 2019, those who operate as limited companies and freelancers.

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