Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Treasury written question – answered on 17th November 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Conservative, Wimbledon

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing people who receive less than 50 per cent of their income from self-employment to claim support from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The self-employed are very diverse and have a wide mix of turnover and profits, with monthly and annual variations even in normal times, and in some cases with substantial alternative forms of income too. The design of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), including the eligibility requirement that an individual’s trading profits must be at least equal to their non-trading income, means it is targeted at those who need it most, and who are most reliant on their self-employment income.

Those ineligible for the SEISS may still be eligible for other elements of the package of financial support available. The Government has temporarily increased the Universal Credit standard allowance for 2020-21 and relaxed the Minimum Income Floor for the duration of the crisis meaning that where self-employed claimants' earnings have significantly fallen, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings. In addition to this they may also have access to other elements of the package, including Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

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