Rishi Sunak finally unveiled a coronavirus bailout tonight for millions of affected self-employed workers – who handed them cash payments of up to £ 2,500 per month.
A week after announcing a massive worker rescue package, the Chancellor announced support for those who work for themselves and in the ‘gig’ economy.
Mr. Sunak said he knew people were “concerned about their job and income” and said at a press conference on Downing Street, “You haven’t been forgotten.”
He said the government would provide scholarships of 80 percent of the average profit over the past three years, up to £ 2,500 a month.
“You can apply for these scholarships and continue to do business,” he said.
However, he said there would be a ceiling of £ 50,000 in profit.
Boris Johnson said yesterday that the new proposals will provide “parity” with the eye-pleasing measures already proposed to protect other parts of the workforce.
It is speculated that around two million workers could benefit, possibly at a rate of 80 percent of the net income they reported on previous tax returns, up to a maximum of £ 1,700 per month.
Unlike the employee bailout, which is provided through grants through companies, government money goes directly to individuals.
Aid is also expected to be resource-tested, with those earning over £ 50,000 not covered to prevent the system from being misused.
In other developments on another fast-moving crisis day:
- Chancellor Rishi Sunak will finally unveil today a coronavirus bailout for millions of affected self-employed workers.
- One of the The government’s best advisers said the British epidemic will worsen before it gets better, but could peak at Easter.
- Dyson has received an order of 10,000 fans from the government, as long as the machines pass initial tests.
- Retailer Boots begged people not to put up demanding tests because it hasn’t received one yet.
- Royal assistants tried to track down everyone who met Prince Charles in the past two weeks after he tested positive for the disease.
- The latest coronavirus figures for the UK showed 9,529 positive tests and a death toll of 465.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured at a Downing Street press conference last week) will finally unveil a coronavirus rescue operation for millions of afflicted self-employed people today
Boris Johnson said yesterday that the new proposals will provide “parity” with the dazzling measures already proposed to protect other parts of the workforce
Rishi’s salvation: what has the chancellor already announced?
The government’s rescue for the economy has been announced in stages, starting with the budget on March 11.
So far, the measures include:
- The government covers 80 percent of the wages for companies to apprehend workers.
- It pays up to £ 2,500 a month – which is equivalent to the average UK wages of £ 30,000 a year.
- VAT invoices worth £ 30 billion in VAT invoices for the next quarter are being deferred.
- A wealth contribution of £ 7 billion will be made to ‘strengthen the safety net’.
- An increase of £ 1 billion for housing benefit to help tenants;
- A fiscal stimulus of £ 30 billion in the budget, including £ 12 billion directly to fight the corona virus, with more money for the NHS;
Government-backed loan guarantees worth £ 330 billion – equivalent to 15 percent of GDP. The Treasury increases this with ‘as much capacity as necessary’
A £ 20 billion package for businesses, including a 12-month holiday for all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses, and cash grants of up to £ 25,000 for smaller companies;
A three-month mortgage vacation for homeowners;
A three-month ban on tenant evictions and mortgage holidays extended to buy-to-rent;
The Bank of England has cut interest rates twice to a record low of 0.1 percent. The quantitative easing scheme – effectively printing money to stimulate the economy – has expanded to over £ 600 billion
The government is faced with a furious call to put forward a self-rescue package, warning that many people who have been unable to pay their bills have already become too late because many parts of the economy were forced to stop to curb the economy. coronavirus spread.
Yesterday revealed that nearly half a million benefits have been received in the past nine days.
Approximately 477,000 claims were ‘processed’ as of Tuesday, 105,000 were submitted yesterday for Universal Credit.
The unprecedented pressure and scale of new claims has led to delays and people have been unable to contact consultants by phone.
Mr. Johnson said that while the government “embraced” every worker, he could not guarantee that the self-employed would not experience “any kind of hardship.”
But the prime minister said he wanted to get “parity of support” so that the self-employed could enjoy a similar level of protection as workers with jobs.
He said to the Commons yesterday: “There are particular difficulties with those who are not on PAYE schemes … I think the whole Parliament understands this. We come with a package to make sure everyone gets the support they need. ‘
When asked what this would mean, he said, “I cannot vouch for Parliament openly that we will survive this crisis without any kind of adversity.”
But he added, “We will do everything we can to support the self-employed, just as we wrap our arms around every worker in this country.”
Last week, Mr. Sunak unveiled a plan that would allow the state to pay up to 80 percent of employee wages if companies agree to keep them.
However, there are as yet no measures in place for the estimated five million self-employed, who currently expect to receive benefits of around £ 94 per week.
At a news conference later on Downing Street, it is expected that Mr. Sunak will unveil a “huge” scheme to help the incomes of the self-employed whose work has evaporated through the corona virus.
It will contain a ‘tailor-made’ mix of measures, but will include an element of direct income subsidy in the form of non-refundable subsidies.
Sources recognize that it is “not direct parity in terms of math, but parity in terms of fairness.”
Self-employed workers ‘with a higher risk of contracting the corona virus than employees’
Self-employed workers are at greater risk from the chaos of the coronavirus than workers, economists have warned.
The IFS think tank said 22 percent work in sectors hard hit, compared to 17 percent of workers – although the number will be lower as there are fewer overall.
Self-employed people are much more likely to work in jobs such as cleaning, hairdressing, performing arts, fitness coaching or taxi driving.
According to the IFS, nearly a million operate in sectors that are largely shut down.
If restrictions were further tightened, this could also affect 0.8 million self-employed people in the construction sector.
Another 0.4 million self-employed have a child up to nine years of age and no key figures or non-working adults in the household who can provide childcare while schools are closed.
This is partly due to the number of employees in the self-employed group. Many have lost their income, others have more work.
Many earn low wages in the hospitality and leisure sector, but company lawyers and lawyers with a six-figure salary are also self-employed.
Government sources also said they did not want the taxpayer to support the income of people in other jobs.
A source said: “With the employee scheme, people are fired or not. ‘It is different with the self-employed – the work may have dried up now, but that can change, and this [lockdown] can go on for months. ‘
Due to the magnitude of the problem, the amounts involved will be ‘huge’ and certainly amount to tens of billions.
Mr Sunak has consulted various organizations representing the self-employed about the measures.
A spokesperson for one of them, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, said: “We are quite optimistic. “We have asked for a fund to guarantee the income of most self-employed persons who will lose in this crisis.
“We ask to protect 80 percent of the wages of self-employed workers, just like employees.” At the Prime Minister’s questions yesterday, MPs from all parties lined up to ask what was being done to help the self-employed.
Union leader Jeremy Corbyn said, “Self-employed workers should choose whether to go to work or stay at home or risk losing their entire living, relying instead on an overburdened welfare system that could pay just £ 94 a week.”
Asked yesterday why the package took so long to arrive, Mr. Johnson said, “We have increased universal credit by £ 1,000 a year.
“We deferred the self-employment tax assessment until July and deferred the VAT until the following quarter. There is also access to publicly funded loans.
But there are certain complexities of self-employed workers that need to be addressed; they are not all in the same position. ‘
London mayor Sadiq Khan has said that the lack of support for the self-employed has contributed to the number of people traveling to the capital despite the blockade.
According to the think tank of the Resolution Foundation, one in three self-employed persons – 1.7 million employees – is at risk of losing their income.