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NEWS: Chancellor announces package of support for self-employed

This evening, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP, spoke about the plans the Treasury has made to support self-employed workers affected by the spread of COVID-19.

Announcing the package of support, Mr Sunak said, "Musicians and sound engineers; plumbers and electricians; taxi drivers and driving instructors; hairdressers and childminders and many others, through no fault of their own, risk losing their livelihoods. To you, I say this. You have not been forgotten. We will not leave you behind. We all stand together."

Welcoming the announcement, Liz Bayram, PACEY's Chief Executive, said,

“40,000 self-employed childminders will be breathing a sigh of relief tonight thanks to this major Government commitment to support them and other self-employed people. The fact the Chancellor mentioned childminders in his speech shows he has listened to their concerns voiced so clearly by PACEY this week. Most of our almost 25,000 childminder members are women on low incomes; some of them are single parents. This support will not only help them survive the next few months, it will also mean they are more likely to stay in business and still be providing much-needed childcare for families once the Coronavirus is beaten.

“We know that waiting till June for support will be challenging but the extension of the business interruption loan to self-employed will help here. We recognise that for newly registered childminders working less than a year this will not be good news but, for most, it will make a huge difference.

"We know from our current survey that the vast majority of childminders want to provide the flexible, quality childcare that critical workers’ children and vulnerable children so urgently need right now. This announcement will give them the financial security they need to weather this storm.

“PACEY’s hope is, after Coronavirus, that society better values the important support childcare providers including childminders give to children and families every day. This decision by the Chancellor today is a very important recognition of that fact.”

There will be some work to do in examining the detail of the scheme, and the policy team at PACEY will be exploring this in the next day or so and helping our members navigate the process. 

Initial summary

  • The government will pay those eligible a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. 
  • Self-employed people who are eligible can apply directly to HMRC for the grant, using a simple online form; HMRC will then pay the grant straight into your bank account. The Chancellor suggested that eligible individuals will be contacted in advance. Three months allowance will be paid in one go.
  • The scheme will be open to those with income of £50,000 or less, who make the majority of their income from self-employment.
  • The scheme will not be up and running until the start of June - this is to give anyone who hasn't yet filed a tax return for 2018-19 an additional four weeks from today to do that. Universal Credit expected to fill that gap. DWP focussed on making sure advanced payment can be made within days. Extra resources into local authorities to help with things like Council Tax Bills.
  • Self-employed people who are struggling now can access the business interruption loans. They are also encouraged to use savings set aside for future tax bills.

For those that have very recently entered the self-employment workforce, HMRC will look at what data is available. If they only have one year of tax return the HMRC will average out that over three years. Whist there is nothing Treasury can do “for those very recently self-employed, because of risk of fraud and so they need to refer to other support” PACEY will be actively working with its newest childminder members to identify how they can be helped so they are not lost from the childminding profession.

Read the full detail from HMRC