Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

(asked on 10th February 2021) - View Source

Question to the HM Treasury:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies Who is excluded from the government's Self Employment Income Support Scheme and what could the government do about it?, published on 27 January; and what plans they have to introduce targeted support to freelance workers in the creative industries who do not qualify for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (1) who became self-employed after 2019, and (2) who are on zero-hour contracts.

Answered by
Lord Agnew of Oulton
This question was answered on 24th February 2021

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has provided and will continue to provide generous support to self-employed people who meet the eligibility criteria.

The Government has recognised taxpayers have faced immense challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has prioritised delivering support to as many people as possible while guarding against the risk of fraud or abuse.

The design of the SEISS, including the eligibility requirement that an individual’s trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to their non-trading income, means it is targeted at those who most need it, and who are most reliant on their self-employment income.

The SEISS is among the most generous schemes for the self-employed in the world. The claims window for the third grant closed on 29 January 2021. As of 31 December, it received claims from 1.9 million individuals so far, amounting to £5.4bn.

The fourth grant will cover February to April 2021. The Government will set out further details at the Budget in March.

The SEISS continues to be just one element of a substantial package of support for the self-employed which includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

The Government recognises the value of the cultural sector and creative professionals and has announced a £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to protect the cultural sectors through the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, more than £790m of grants and loans have been allocated to over 3,000 cultural organisations in England. Organisations supported include galleries, theatres, museums, orchestras, music venues, comedy clubs and festivals. This funding will help to support jobs and organisations across the country.

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