Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced a package of measures to help the self-employed cope financially with the coronavirus. The Chancellor had been criticised over the last week for not giving more support for the self-employment, with previous measures having focused primarily on those in paid employment. The measures will give those who are self-employed, with at least one year’s accounts, a direct cash grant of 80% of their profits upto a maximum of £2,500 per month.
Sunak said in a press conference:
“The package for the self-employed I’ve outlined today is one of the most generous in the world that has been announced so far. It targets support to those who need help most, offering the self-employed the same level of support as those in work.”
John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, said in a statement:
“We’re relieved that the Chancellor, responding to the advocacy of the Federation of Small Businesses and trade unions and others, has brought forward the protection scheme for the self-employed. My worry is that if people cannot get access to the Scheme until June it will simply be too late for millions. People need support in the coming days and fortnight.”
Ed Davey, the economic spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, posted on Twitter:
“It’s good government have finally announced financial support for the self-employed. But many simply cannot wait until June for this help. And the plan appears to leave out large numbers – especially people who’ve become self-employed in the last year.”