More than 100 MPs have called on the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend COVID-19 support for the self-employed which is set to end imminently.
In March, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was welcomed and made available to eligible workers a taxable grant worth 80% of their average trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500 (the equivalent to three months’ profits) to help cover some of the losses caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Since the SEISS was launched, which covered the months of March, April and May, there has been no further details on how the government might support millions of self-employed workers from June onwards who remain unable to work.
A cross-party group of 113 politicians have now urged government for more details and the continuation of scheme in a letter sent to the Chancellor by Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh.
In the letter to Sunak it states: “We are calling on you to ensure that this scheme is continued and to provide details of an extension as soon as possible.”
The letter also reads: “For our Constituents who have been unable to work due to COVID-19, this scheme, and the opportunity to be furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, have proven invaluable lifelines of support for those eligible to receive them.
“However, whilst the Government has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will now continue until October 2020, it remains unclear whether any extension to the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will be announced.
“Whilst some of our self-employed constituents may be able to return to work over the coming weeks and months, it remains likely that many will not. If the scheme does not continue, they will be left without work and without support.”
Siobhain McDonagh MP posted the letter on Twitter, also saying: “We are calling on Rishi Sunak to continue the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme!
“There are already huge holes in the support. But removing what is in place would pull the safety net from under the feet of millions of locked down workers.”
Earlier this month Sunak announced the similar employee furlough scheme would be extended by a further four months until October, with workers continuing to receive 80% of their current salary.
However, the self-employed, still adhering to lockdown measures, remain unsure about their futures.