Chancellor to Cut Grants to 2.3 Million Self Employed

Tories urged not to put more jobs at risk.

Following reports that the Chancellor (pictured) is set to cut grants for 2.3 million self-employed – essentially ending the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – the SNP has urged the UK government to extend the scheme and protect jobs.

Mr Sunak has extended the furlough scheme until October, but has made no commitment to extend the scheme for the self-employed beyond the end of May.

The SNP’s Business and Industry spokesperson, Richard Thomson MP, has called on the Chancellor to extend the SEISS until October, in line with the furlough scheme, with a view to extending this further if many are still unable to return to work.

A cross-party group of 113 MPs, including the SNP, wrote to Mr Sunak yesterday, warning that many people will still not be able to return to work despite the easing of some lockdown restrictions.

Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:

“More than two million self-employed people have applied for the self-employment income support scheme, which is great, but now they face a potential cliff-edge of earnings.

“The UK government must extend this scheme in line with the furlough scheme to protect jobs and livelihoods up and down the country.

“Right now, millions of self-employed people are being kept in the dark and are rightly worried about what their futures hold if the vital support they have been receiving is abruptly cut – they need assurances without delay.

“Workers and employers must not be penalised due to the pandemic, and failure to provide adequate financial support to self-employed people could end up sending unemployment soaring.

“I am urging the Chancellor – along with colleagues from across the house – to do the right thing for people and the economy and ensure the SEISS scheme remains in place for all four nations for as long as it is needed.”