The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a new Self-employed Income Support Scheme that will provide a taxable grant of up to 80% of average pay over a three year period. The grant will be capped at a maximum of £2,500 per month.
The new scheme will only be open to workers who have a trading profit of up to £50,000. Initially it will be available for at least three months but it may be extended should the lockdown continue longer than expected but payments will not be made until June at the earliest.
The Chancellor said: “This is one of the most generous schemes of its nature,” before adding: “We face a very challenging few weeks and months. Inevitably peoples lives and economic positions will be impacted by current events.”
The self-employed make up almost 40% of those working in the construction industry and the support package announced by the Chancellor is welcome relief for the thousands of self-employed workers.
Brian Berry Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Construction workers across the country will now be taking a collective sigh of relief knowing they will now be protected in the same way that employees will be if they lose work due to COVID-19.
“Building companies will now also be able to close sites to protect workers and public health without having to worry about the losses faced by self-employed workers on those sites. We now urge the Treasury and HMRC to ensure that all support packages are up and running as soon as physically possible.”
Hew Edgar, Head of RICS UK Government Relations & City Strategy, said: “There are thousands of self-employed professionals in the built environment, who are just as vital to our economy as SME and large business, so this support will ensure then can continue to operate and contribute to the wider economy now and after this virus has been beaten.”