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Chancellor of the Exchequer reveals grant scheme of for self-employed people as he acknowledges their struggles

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has today (Thursday, March 26) revealed a grant of £2,500 a month for self-employed people to benefit from.

Rishi Sunak said the last 10 days had "shaken the economy" as never before and he was aware self-employed people were "already struggling".

He said the new taxable grant, similar to that being offered to furloughed workers, is worth 80 per cent of their average monthly earnings up to £2,500 was "deliverable and fair".

Chancellor Rishi Sunak
Chancellor Rishi Sunak

What the government measures mean for businesses

Mr Sunak said self-employed people "through no fault of their own risk losing their livelihood".

"To you I say this, you have not been forgotten. We will not leave you behind, we all stand together."

The scheme will be up and running by the beginning of June and HMRC will contact those affected directly.

Anyone who missed the tax deadline in January has four weeks from today to submit their tax return.

Only those who are already in self employment who have a tax return for 2019 can apply and with trading profits of up to £50,000 to "make sure only the genuinely self-employed can benefit".

Mr Sunak said the scheme was "unlike almost any other country and makes our scheme one of the most generous in the world".

The grant came with a warning though.

Mr Sunak said: "I must be honest and point out that in devising this scheme in response to many calls for support, it is now much harder to justify the inconsistent contribution from people of different employment statuses. If we all want to benefit equally from state support, we must all pay in equally in the future."

Self-employed people can also benefit from the business interruption loans announced earlier in the week and Mr Sunak said there had bee 30,000 enquiries in four days.

Mr Sunak also said 700,000 retail, hospitality and leisure businesses would pay no business rates this year and there are hardship grants of up to £25,000 for small businesses.

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