The UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak will be unveiling the new help package to assist the self-employed during the COVID-19 pandemic but only one-third of those requiring assistance will qualify.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was put under pressure during the PM’s Questions on Wednesday by SNP leader Ian Blackford as well as Jeremy Corbyn. They criticised governments decision to close parliament early without having properly laid forth a clear plan that would assist the self-employed as the Prime Minister had promised.
Jeremy Corbyn went on to say:
“The self-employed are having to choose whether they go to work or stay at home and face losing their entire livelihood, relying instead on an overstretched welfare system, which could pay as little as £94 per week”
“One self-employed person said that they need to pay for baby food, rent, council tax and insurance for the car they use for work, being ‘faced with a decision to feed your family and pay your bills, or stay at home and not get paid”
“Why has it taken the prime minister so long to guarantee income for all self-employed workers? There are millions of them – our economy has changed.”
The self-employed help package is set to be announced later today.
Already the government have warned that they may not be able to match the £2,500 salary cap they had previously announced as those in that salary bracket actually pay less taxes.
Only one-third of the self-employed will have access to the help package. That figure may also drop as those on Universal Credit, receiving separate income as company employees or have been offered assistance already will also be excluded.
Boris Johnson explained to the parliament that “We will not be able to protect every single job or save every single business” going on to add that “I cannot, in all candour, promise that we will be able to get through this crisis without any kind of hardship at all.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce the help package later on Thursday 26 March.