Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Treasury written question – answered on 12th February 2021.

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Photo of Apsana Begum Apsana Begum Labour, Poplar and Limehouse

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of excluding from the self employment income support scheme people who have less than 50 per cent of their income coming from self-employment on levels of financial adversity in that group.

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

The design of the SEISS, including the eligibility requirement that an individual’s trading profits must be at least equal to their non-trading income, is intended to target support at those who most need it, and who are most reliant on their self-employment income.

The Government does recognise that some of the rules, criteria and conditions necessary to ensure that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) worked for the vast majority of people have meant that some did not qualify.

Those who are ineligible for the SEISS may still be eligible for other elements of the substantial package of support available. The Universal Credit standard allowance has been temporarily increased for 2020-21 and the Minimum Income Floor relaxed for the duration of the crisis, so that where self-employed claimants' earnings have fallen significantly, 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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