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Self-employed: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether self-employed people will be able to access the grants and loans announced in response to the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The government has always said that the best way to support freelancers and the self-employed through this crisis is through the welfare system. Since 20 March they have been able to benefit from changes such as the £20 increase in the Universal Credit standard allowance and the uprating of Local Housing Allowance. The government is temporarily relaxing the Minimum Income Floor for all self-employed UC claimants for the duration of the outbreak. This means a drop in earnings due to sickness or self-isolation or as a result of the economic impact of the outbreak will be reflected in claimants’ awards. Self-employed people unable to work because they are directly affected by Covid-19 or self-isolating will also be eligible for Contributory Employment and Support Allowance. As announced at Budget, this is now payable from the first day of sickness, rather than the eighth. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is available to self-employed individuals with an eligible business entity. People who are self-employed or own a business and are concerned about not being able to pay their tax bills because of Covid-19 should contact Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) dedicated Time to Pay service.

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