Thank you for contacting me about support for the self-employed.
I can fully appreciate what a difficult time it is for those who are self-employed. I welcome that measures have been announced to help self-employed people, many of whom are especially vulnerable during this time.
I fully support the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grant Extension, which will provide critical support to the self-employed at a level similar to the new Jobs Support Scheme. The grant was initially extended to cover 40 per cent of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £3,750 in total.
It is right that the SEISS has been adjusted to ensure parity with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in November. The SEISS rate for the November period will increase from 40 per cent of trading profits to 80 per cent. Following the previous doubling of the SEISS grant extension from 20 per cent to 40 per cent of trading profits, this will mean that the total level of the grant for the three month period of November to January will be increased to 55 per cent of trading profits and the maximum grant will increase to £5,160.
I also welcome that HMRC will pay this increased grant sooner than previously planned, and in time for Christmas, and that the window for claiming will open earlier than previously announced, on 30 November.
I understand that the Treasury will review the level of the February-April grant and set this in due course and I have passed on your comments to my colleagues at the Treasury such that they are aware of the strength of feeling on this issue.
I hope that these measures come as a welcome relief to those in self-employment who have been put in a difficult position during this crisis.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.