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26 March 2020

Daily briefing with Rishi Sunak and Jenny Harries – new support for the self-employed


Chancellor Rishi Sunak's speech includes these key points. He describes support already announced for businesses, 'So if any business is struggling, and worrying they may need to lose staff, I would urge you to log on to businesssupport.gov.uk, and look very carefully at what support is available before deciding to lay people off.' Recognising gaps for the self-employed, Sunak says, 'I’m proud of what we’ve done so far, but I know that many self-employed people are deeply anxious about the support available for them.' He states that they will not be forgotten by government: 'You have not been forgotten. We will not let you behind. We are all in this together.' Sunak announces a new package of measures – the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. 'The government will pay self-employed people, who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus, a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last 3 years, up to £2,500 a month.' The scheme will last for 3 months and be extended if needed. He states that 95% of the self-employed population will be able to benefit from the scheme. HMRC expects the scheme to be up and running no later than June. The welfare system has also adapted so that self-employed people can now access Universal Credit in full.

In the press questions, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries says on testing 'there comes a point in a pandemic where that [testing] is not an appropriate intervention'.


Gov.uk speech