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Self-employed to earn up to £2,500 in coronavirus stimulus

City AM logoCity AM 26/03/2020 Stefan Boscia
Chancellor Rishi Sunak © Getty Chancellor Rishi Sunak

The government will pay self-employed workers up to £2,500 a month to deal with the fallout from coronavirus.

The package was announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak today.

“The government will play self-employed people a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of their monthly profits of the last three years up to £2500 a month,” he said.

“It will be open for at least three months and i will extend it for longer if necessary.”

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It comes after Sunak announced last week that the government would pay 80 per cent of employees’ wages, up to £2,500, for those who cannot work because of the Covid-19 fallout. 

Any business, regardless of size, can apply for the wage bailout and that there was “no limit” to its size.

Sunak also said he would postpone companies’ VAT payments until June, in business relief worth over £30bn.  

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This came alongside an already announced scheme to offer £330bn of government-backed loans to struggling businesses.

The government had attracted criticism over the past week for the delay in announcing a package for the self-employed.

Boris Johnson said yesterday it was more difficult to formulate measures, because of “the complexity of their working arrangements”.

Sunak echoed the Prime Minister’s statement at parliament earlier this week.

“There are genuine practical and principle reasons why it is incredibly complicated to design an analogous scheme to the one that we have for employed workers,” he said.

“The ability for the government to distinguish between these people, based on tax returns that are over a year and a half out of date, poses some very significant challenges in terms of fairness and affordability.”

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading - here is what you can and can't do. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

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