SEISS or the Self Employment Income Support Scheme, has provided financial aid to eligible people alongside furlough for those on PAYE. While the Government support schemes have been running since March, and were yesterday extended in the Budget, due to eligibility criteria there are still some who are missing out. Chancellor Rishi Sunak, yesterday, acknowledged the original scheme had certain rules which excluded particular individuals.
Groups such as ForgottenPAYE and ExcludedUK have campaigned for further levels of support from the Government during the pandemic.
Mr Sunak, yesterday, confirmed support under SEISS would be extended until September, alongside a furlough extension.
The fourth grant of SEISS will cover the period of February to April and a fifth and final grant will offer help from May onwards.
However, for those who remain excluded, the update is not likely to provide any good news.
The Chancellor, however, has responded to the critique he has faced over the last day when it comes to SEISS and furlough support.
Appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Mr Sunak addressed the issues raised by excluded groups.
He said: “I think if you take a step back and look at the sum total of our support for the self-employed over the course of this crisis, we’re going to spend over £30billion supporting those in self-employment.
“I think it will stand at the most generous support for self-employment of any country anywhere in the world.
“The scheme provides income support to people who have profits – it is designed to help people whose income has been affected by the lockdown. If you didn’t have income to start with, then it kind of removes the rationale for receiving support.
“I think it is reasonable to provide the support that we did. My team and my ministerial colleague has met with these groups to go through all of their various suggestions.
“We have engaged and met with all the groups as we wanted to find ways to make improvements where we can, and now we have been able to make that improvement.”
“If you look at the projections outline from yesterday, it is forecast that we actually spend more money supporting those in self-employment than we do on the furlough scheme and I think that should give you some sense of the scale and generosity of what we’re doing.”