Coronavirus briefing

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

The Chancellor this evening confirmed that the Government is acting to protect the self-employed during the Coronavirus pandemic. He has introduced the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme which will cover 95% of self-employed people and gives them the same support offered to other workers.
The Government will pay self-employed people a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last 3 and a half years, up to the value of £2,500 per month.
The grant will be in place for up to three months and self-employed people will be able to claim for this grant whilst continuing to carry out business.
In short, the details of the Scheme are:

  • The grant will pay up to 80% of average monthly profits over the last three years, up to the value of £2,500 per month.
  • If you have only be trading for one or two years, the Government will look at the figures available. You do not need three years of records.
  • It is open to anyone with trading profits up to £50,000.
  • You must have a tax return for 2019 to apply.
  • The majority of your income must come from self-employment.
  • HMRC will contact those who are eligible.
  • The Scheme will be available no later than the beginning of June.
  • There is a delay to allow those who haven’t filed their tax return for 2018/19 an additional four weeks, from today, to do that.

This builds on the support that is available to self-employed people:

  • For self-employed people who are struggling now, we’ve also made sure that many will be able to access loans through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme. This scheme provides loans of up to £5 million, which will be interest free for twelve months.
  • Supporting people through the welfare system so that nobody is penalised for doing the right thing. We will make it quicker and easier to access benefits. Those on contributory ESA will be able to claim from day 1, instead of day 8. And we are relaxing the requirement for anyone to physically attend a jobcentre – everything can be done by phone or online.
  • Suspending the minimum income floor for twelve months – meaning self-employed people can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate that is equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.
  • Deferring income tax self-assessment payments for July until the end of January 2021.

NHS Volunteer Scheme
I was delighted when the Prime Minister confirmed that 405,000 people stepped forward within 24 hours of calling for volunteers to support our NHS. This number now stands at over half a million people!
There is no doubt that Coronavirus will cause a tremendous strain on the NHS. The number of volunteers signing up is an astonishing display of people rallying together to help our country get through the biggest health emergency for a generation.
Unfortunately, we are still waiting for the Welsh Government to confirm that they will join the UK Government and launch the scheme in Wales. I know that there is a huge pool of healthy and talented people who want to roll up their sleeves and help our health service, and it will be a huge shame to miss this opportunity. I know that the Secretary of State for Wales has written to the First Minister and we await his response.
Let me take this opportunity to thank the doctors, nurses, and all other staff who work tirelessly across our NHS. They are battling on the frontline as we fight this terrible virus and I know many people will show their appreciation at 8pm this evening by participating in the nationwide round of applause for NHS staff.
I hope that NHS staff in Wales will soon benefit from the support of volunteers.
Stay at Home
Finally, please remember the importance of staying home. This will play a huge role in protecting our NHS and the police will now be enforcing Social Distancing.
You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities​, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with direct members of your household.
  • Any medical need​, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work​, but only where your work absolutely cannot be done from home – for example if you are a keyworker. – which means remaining at least 2 metres (6.5ft) away from others.

Stay at Home. Protect the NHS. Save Lives.
If you would like to see more advice, please visit my website which has a Coronavirus page. This contains information on health, travel, help for businesses, among other things:
I hope you found this helpful.
Rt Hon Alun Cairns MP
Vale of Glamorgan

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