Martin Lewis provides last-minute advice on third SEISS grant
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Government support has helped to keep many people earning during the pandemic. The final Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) payment is due to end in April, as is the case with the Government’s furlough scheme. However, in light of Boris Johnson’s roadmap announcement this week, many self-employed people will now be concerned about the extent of financial support which will be available to them over the coming months.
The Chancellor is facing mounting pressure from businesses to extend the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme over the coming months of lockdown.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The Government must stop dithering and delaying and extend the full furlough scheme for at least the rest of 2021, and it must (give) urgent support for the self-employed.
“With jobs and livelihoods hanging in the balance there is no reason to keep workers and businesses waiting.
“We need a plan for supporting the parts of the economy hit hardest by repeated lockdown restrictions, like hospitality, retail, aviation and the creative industries.”
All eyes will be on Rishi Sunak next week, as he is expected to announce what ongoing support the Government will provide to businesses during the next stage of lockdown.
Mr Sunak said: “I know how incredibly tough the past year has been for everyone, and every job lost is a personal tragedy.
“That’s why throughout the crisis, my focus has been on doing everything we can to protect jobs and livelihoods.
“At the Budget next week I will set out the next stage of our Plan for Jobs, and the support we’ll provide through the remainder of the pandemic and our recovery.”
Will there be a fifth SEISS grant?
To date, applications have opened and closed for three SEISS grants under the scheme.
The last SEISS grant, the third since the scheme’s inception in early 2020, was worth 80 percent of average monthly trading profits, capped at £7,500.
Applications for the fourth grant are expected to open soon, with the Chancellor expected to announce how much the grant is worth in the March Budget.
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The Prime Minister confirmed in his roadmap that some restrictions in England will remain in place until at least June, meaning several more months of lockdown await many businesses.
The fourth SEISS grant is due to cover February to April 2021, so many self-employed people could find themselves at a loose end for the remaining months of lockdown.
However, it could be possible the scheme is extended to include a fifth grant in the future.
Mr Johnson has indicated there would be an extension in taxpayer-funded support schemes, saying: “We will not pull the rug out.”
The Chancellor has also said before he will do “whatever it takes” to support businesses during the crisis.
Some reports have already indicated the Government is considering extending the furlough scheme until July, so SEISS could also be extended too.
So one of the measures the Chancellor could announce on March 3 could well be an extension to SEISS.
But self-employed people will have to wait a little while longer to find out whether a fifth grant is possible further down the line.
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