Self-employed to get extra grant cash due to second lockdown, government set to announce

FINANCIAL support for self-employed workers is set to be extended due to a second national coronavirus lockdown.

Boris Johnson has already extended the furlough scheme for full-time workers, who will receive 80% of wages during the month-long nationwide shut down.

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At the moment, self-employed workers only receive government grants worth 40% of average monthly profits.

Typically, the grants cover three months worth of loss of earnings, with the amount adjusted to reflect the latest round of coronavirus restrictions.

The latest grant is set to be worth £3,750 to cover impacted profits from November through to January, although this is expected to increase to take into account the four-week lockdown from Thursday.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning: "The 40% will go up to reflect the fact that at least one of those months of support will be at a higher level for those who are in employment."

The help will come on top of the £13billion the government has already invested in grants to help 3million self-employed workers.

The Chancellor added: "What we have done typically during this crisis is adjust the value of the grants as we’ve adjusted the value of support to those who are employed…

"But broadly, we’ve adjusted those things and you can expect us to do the same again here and the Prime Minster will have details of that in his statement."

Mr Sunak said that the payments were unlikely to be brought inline with the furlough scheme, which sees 80% of wages covered for those who can't work during the lockdown.

The Chancellor blamed the lack of equality between the two schemes on the fact that they cover different time frames, with furlough covering monthly wages and the grant scheme covering three month's worth.

He also said it won't be the same across the board because some workers will be put on a combination of furlough and the Job Support Scheme over the next few months, which affects the overall percentage of state cover.

The first round of self-employed grants were worth £7,500, while the  second payout was worth £6,570.

Earlier this month, the government said there would be a fourth grant for self-employed workers to cover February 2021 until the end of April 2021 but it is yet to announce how much it will cover.

The Prime Minister will lay out further details of the support package later today when he addresses the Commons.

Mr Johnson is expected to announce that there is "no alternative" but to impose four weeks of tough measures across England from November 5 as a way of trying to control rising infection rates.

The UK has reported more than one million coronavirus cases throughout the pandemic.

Pubs and restaurants will be shut although they will be allowed to do deliveries and provide takeaway services.

All non-essential retail will close, but supermarkets will be able to sell any and all goods they like. They will not have to follow the Welsh example which saw non-essential goods cordoned off to shoppers.

Hairdressers and gyms will also be forced to close under the new restrictions.

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