We already know that the government plans to provide wage subsidies of 80% of salaries (up to £2,500 per month) for staff kept on by employers during the pandemic.
But Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to set out measures to help self-employed workers facing financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus later today.
Dr Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, told the BBC’s Today programme: “For many people that have seen their businesses disappear in the blink of an eye, things like statutory sick pay or universal credit just isn’t enough. Their custom has literally evaporated overnight.”
He also argued the case for the UK following a similar route to Denmark or Norway, which try to replace up to 80% of recent earnings for self-employed people: “The way you can do that is by looking back at recent tax returns and filings to make sure you aren’t under-paying or over-paying an individual.”
“It doesn’t need to be perfect – we just need a system in place to get help to some of these businesses. So many of them are counting time in hours and days, rather than weeks or months. They simply don’t have the cash to keep going for that long.”