Following days of speculation in the press and on social media, chancellor Rishi Sunak has revealed his package of support for the self-employed tradespeople who can’t work during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Self Employed Income Support Scheme will be a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of average monthly income from the past three years, up to a maximum of £2,500. It will be open for at least three months, with the possibility of an extension if necessary, and will match the existing Job Retention Scheme already announced for employees.
It is estimated it will be up and running by June 2020 and will be open to anyone with profits up to £50,000 a year, as long as they have a tax return for 2019, so won’t apply to those who are newly self-employed.
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. I am delighted that the Chancellor has heeded our calls to be generous with his offer to the self-employed, who make up almost 40 per cent of those working in the construction industry. 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.”