Loophole could deny self-employed support cash
‘I’m a single mum of two boys, and suddenly I was wondering how the hell I would look after them’
THOUSANDS of self-employed people who returned to work after lockdown face being left out of a new rescue scheme.
A loophole means workers who got back to business in early July are at risk of being unable to claim under the programme launched by Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor.
The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme covers the three months to August and will pay 70pc of average earnings. It succeeds a scheme to plug lockdown losses between March and May, which paid 80pc.
But business owners are only eligible for the latest grants if they were “adversely affected” on or after July 14.
Tonya Wright, a hairdresser who lives in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, said: “Having this window feels like they’re trying to catch out the self-employed. I’m a single mum of two boys, aged 13 and 10, and suddenly I was wondering how the hell I would look after them.”
Matt Dowling of The Freelancer Club, a jobs directory for self-employed workers, said: “The messaging from the Government has yet again been unclear and comes very late in the day.”
A Government spokesman said: “While you must be adversely affected before July 13 to qualify for the first SEISS grant, and on or after July 14 to qualify for the second SEISS grant, the grants do not relate to a period of months or seek to compensate or replace lost income over a particular time frame, and allow the self-employed to continue to work if conditions allow.
“The grants provide a lump sum to support eligible self-employed individuals whose businesses have been adversely affected by coronavirus.”