The Government has announced that self-employed people will be able to access 80% of trading profits in November under the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.
The Government has announced that self employed people in the UK will be able to get up to 80% of their average trading profits for November under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
The SEISS grant covers three months to the end of January. The December and January payments will remain at 40% of profits. The maximum grant will increase to £5,160.
The Government also says payments will also be made more quickly with the claims window being brought forward from 14th December to 30th November. In addition it has extended deadlines for applications for government-backed loan schemes and the Future Fund until 31st January 2021.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “The rapidly changing health picture has meant we have had to act in order to protect people’s lives and I know this is incredibly worrying time for the self-employed. That is why we have increased the generosity of the third grant, ensuring those who cannot trade or are facing decreased demand are able to get through the months ahead.”
The Government says the increase in the SEISS payment for November is broadly in line with what employees get under the furlough scheme and the Job Support Scheme which will follow the national lockdown in England.
Derek Cribb, CEO of IPSE, which represents self employed people, said: “The increase in SEISS is welcome and will provide vital support for many of the UK’s struggling self-employed. It is important to note, though, that this enhanced 80 per cent rate only covers November, mirroring the extended furlough scheme. It is vital that if the furlough scheme is extended, SEISS should be adjusted accordingly.
“While the increase in SEISS is welcome, however, it is deeply troubling that the government has still not fixed the devastating gaps in SEISS [this includes limited company directors], despite urgent recommendations from the Treasury Select Committee. After so many calls to resolve the problems, it now looks as if the government is wilfully ignoring a third of the self-employed.
“The first lockdown drastically undermined self-employed incomes, and the gaps in government support led to the biggest drop in self-employed numbers on record. Unless government wakes up to the problem and supports all the self-employed, the second lockdown will accelerate the decline and hollow out swathes of this vital sector.”
IPSE released analysis today which shows that there has been a 341 per cent increase in the number of self-employed people on Universal Credit since 2019 – up from 46,800 in 2019 to 206,200 this year. IPSE says a key factor in the increase was the government’s suspension of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF), which previously hindered or prevented many self-employed from accessing Universal Credit because of their fluctuating incomes. The MIF suspension, however, is due to end on 12th November.
IPSE has written a letter to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey calling for the suspension of MIF to be extended beyond 12th November to continue to support thousands of self-employed people and their families.