News | Published March 27 2020

Coronavirus help for self-employed delayed until June

The government has been warned that unemployment will soar as the chancellor has delayed the coronavirus bailout for those who are self employed until June.

Rishi Sunak announced a £9 billion package for workers who are self-employed, however, he noted that those who do not have any other funds to live off will have to claim welfare until the summer, when the money becomes available.

He further stated that self-employed workers will be expected to pay more in taxes in the long term to help subsidise the bailout. This has been referred to as the “kicker” which could cripple start-ups if they make it through the current crisis, by a freelancers’ trade body.

The announcement followed the number of those applying for employment benefit in the US rising to five times higher than at any other time in the country’s history following considerable job loss.

When asked about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, Sunak replied: “I have seen the numbers from the US and also from here and of course they are very very worrying. These are people’s livelihoods, their jobs, their financial security which is now being severely damaged.

“This is going to be a very challenging few weeks and months, there is no doubt about that.

“I absolutely acknowledge this is going to be challenging. People’s lives and livelihoods are going to be impacted, but I do believe the measures we have put in place will make an enormous difference to alleviate that hardship.”

He admitted it would not be possible to “save every job”.

Of the five million self-employed individuals, Treasury estimates indicate that 1.7 million will not be eligible for the scheme as they earn less than half their income from self-employment. Those who recently founded companies are also ineligible.

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
March 27 2020

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