A petition to have the Government’s latest Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant increased to at least 60% has currently reached over 50,000 signatures, as those relying on financial support to survive say the current offer is still not enough.
The petition reads: “Whilst many self employed people in the hospitality sector and other industries are being prevented from working, they are only being supported with a 40 percent wage, whereas PAYE furlough is at two thirds of wages (over 60 percent).
“HMRC state 'HMRC are providing broadly the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided for employees through the Job Support scheme' but this is absolutely untrue. Let us work, or support us with a basic living wage.”
The Government announced their latest measures to improve the winter support schemes available to taxi drivers and other self-employed workers last week (Thursday 22 October), in a bid to help support them during what are expected to be difficult times over the coming months.
In recognition of the challenging times, the Chancellor said he would be increasing support through the existing Job Support and self-employed schemes, and expanding business grants to support companies in high-alert level areas.
This builds on agreements reached with Local Authorities moving to Alert Level very high, with extra support for businesses, jobs and the economic recovery.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “I’ve always said that we must be ready to adapt our financial support as the situation evolves, and that is what we are doing today. These changes mean that our support will reach many more people and protect many more jobs.
“I know that the introduction of further restrictions has left many people worried for themselves, their families and communities. I hope the government’s stepped-up support can be part of the country pulling together in the coming months.”
Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering 3 months. The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November 2020 until the end of January 2021. The Government will pay a taxable grant which is calculated based on 40% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £3,750.
The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April 2021. The Government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.
The petition is currently live on campaign platform Organise.