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Taxi drivers join widespread call for ‘clarity’ on vital fourth SEISS grant awaiting self-employed

London taxi drivers have joined the widespread call for ‘clarity’ on the vital forthcoming SEISS grant awaiting struggling self-employed workers.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) has called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to announce similar levels of support from the fourth Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), plus wider eligibility criteria for those workers that have so far missed out on support.

Steve McNamara, LTDA General Secretary, wrote in TAXI Magazine: “There is still no official word on the level of the fourth Self-Employment Income Support (SEISS) grant to cover the period February to April."

McNamara continued: “Since we are likely to still be in lockdown until at least the middle of February, it’s surely inconceivable that they would reduce it for the next one. However, the LTDA has been calling for clarity on this. We also continue to highlight the need to change the eligibility criteria to include those who have been excluded and had no support at all so far.

“The Liberal Democrats, the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds and Finance Expert, Martin Lewis, have all also been calling for changes to help those self-employed people, who through no fault of their own, are not eligible to claim, including many taxi drivers. There have been rumours the Chancellor is considering taking some kind of action in response to this pressure, but nothing so far.”

Struggling self-employed workers will not receive official details of the eagerly awaited fourth SEISS grant before the Chancellor’s Budget on 3 March according to government sources.

According to the HM Treasury website it reads: ‘There will be a fourth grant covering February 2021 to April 2021. Details about the fourth grant will be announced on 3 March 2021.’

Martin Lewis, founder of Money Saving Expert and a TV finance presenter, first announced the exclusive news via social media on Friday 22 January. In the video, Lewis described the move to delay releasing further information as ‘unnecessarily cruel’ for people who are in dire need of financial support in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Applications for the third SEISS grant closed on 29 January after going liv to all self-employed workers on 30 November to make the claim.

Support for self-employed workers applying for the third SEISS grant covers November 2020 to January 2021 and has been calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500.

Those eligible for the third SEISS grant do not need to repay the funding, but the grant will be subject to Income Tax and self-employed National Insurance. The SEISS payments must be reported on the claimant’s 2020-21 Self Assessment tax return.

To make a claim for the third grant the claimant’s business must have been impacted by coronavirus on or after 1 November 2020.

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