The new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) helps those adversely affected by COVID-19, and some 95 per cent of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment could benefit from this scheme. The SEISS, including the £50,000 threshold, is designed to ensure it is targeted at those who most need it, and who are most reliant on their self-employment income.
The self-employed are a very diverse population. They have a wide mix of turnover and profits, with monthly and annual variations even in normal times. Some may see their profits unaffected by the current situation, while others have substantial alternative forms of income: for example, those who had more than £50,000 from self-employment profits in 2017-18 had an average total income of more than £200,000. The self-employed can also offset losses against profits in other years and other forms of income.
Those with average profits above £50,000 could still benefit from other support. Individuals may have access to a range of grants and loans depending on their circumstances, and the SEISS supplements the significant support already announced for UK businesses, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the deferral of tax payments. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/.