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Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a 'self employed income support scheme' to protect self employed workers in the UK.
It includes a taxable grant worth 80 percent of the worker's average monthly profits over last three years. The scheme will be open for at least three months and self-employed people can continue to do business.
Workers will be able to access the grant no later than June, and it is expected that 95 percent of people who are majority self-employed will be able to benefit from the scheme.
Furloughed employees are also eligible for a grant worth 80 percent of their average monthly profits.
It comes after it was announced last Friday that the Government would cover 80 percent of wages up to £2,500 ($2,989) a month for staff being kept on by their employer.
The 'coronavirus job retention scheme' will be open to all businesses and was described as 'unprecedented measures for unprecedented times'.
In the week since that bailout package was announced, the Government has come under increasing pressure to offer similar support for the self-employed.
Explaining the delay in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Sunak said there were 'practical reasons' why it was 'incredibly complicated' to create an equivalent package for the self-employed.
We understand the situation many self-employed people face at the moment and are determined to find a way to support them.
I will be making a further announcement on this in the coming days. #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/GZhtWxezia
- Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) March 24, 2020
He said: "There are genuine practical and principled reasons why it is incredibly complicated to design an analogous scheme to the one that we have for employed workers.
"But he [The Speaker] can rest assured that we understand the situation that many self-employed people face at the moment as a result of what's happening and we are determined to find a way to support them."
It's okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD's aim with our Coronavirus campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we're facing. For more information from the World Health Organisation on Coronavirus, click here.