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Rishi Sunak denies SEISS problems – chancellor insists self-employed may be furloughed | Personal Finance | Finance


Rishi Sunak has been regularly condemned for failing to tackle issues within SEISS rules which have reportedly left many unable to receive help from the scheme. In light of these difficulties, the “ExcludedUK” organisation emerged to push the government for changes and today on Good Morning Britain, the Chancellor was confronted with some of their grievances.

Rishi was confronted with a tweet he posted in recent months which said: “You have not been forgotten. We will not leave you behind. We are all in this together.”

The Chancellor then went on to list all of the support schemes available to struggling workers but it was highlighted that Rishi’s claims may not be entirely true.

In recent months, it has been reported that nearly three million people have not been eligible for SEISS which equates to around nine percent of the workforce and Rishi was pushed on this by Ben Shephard.

Despite these claims and the consistent criticism he has faced throughout 2020, the Chancellor remained steadfast in his resolve.

READ MORESEISS: HMRC update how trading profits will be calculated – check now

Rishi responded to the apparent problems: “I don’t think that three million number is right and you’ve used it but that number includes one and a half million people who do not qualify for the self-employment scheme because they are not majority self-employed, they make the majority of their income from other forms being employed and therefore, they would have would be eligible to be furloughed.

“Now, when we design that scheme, remember we’re sending grants out to people without knowing what their situation is.

“That’s why it’s difficult to do this, all of the bodies that I spoke with at the time we designed that scheme supported the principle that support should be targeted on those who made the vast majority of their earnings from self-employment, and we set the threshold actually just at a majority, many of those people said it would be reasonable to set it even higher at 60 percent or two thirds.”

“And that income, just so we’re clear, for those one and a half million people who are in your 2.9 percent, the average amount of self-employment income they make is £2000 or £3000.

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“So at that level, even if they haven’t received a grant, Universal Credit would be there for them, they’d still be able to benefit from things like our mortgage holidays if they have a mortgage.

“If they need help paying their rent, there’s something called Local Housing Allowance which we’ve increased that by almost a billion pounds this year.

“There’s a lot of different things out there.”

Ben went on to acknowledge the difficulty Rishi must be facing in trying to please everyone affected by coronavirus but he continued to push the Chancellor for an answer on those who fell through the gap of SEISS rules.

Rishi was asked if he would meet with ExcludedUK representatives to discuss the issues and come to an understanding.

In response, the Chancellor argued he had already met with said representatives and he then seemed to change the topic: “We’ve already spoken a lot to that team and I’ve been back and forth but I would say something yesterday, we had a spending review where we announced 15 year increases in investment in day to day public services so everybody, regardless of their employment situation, I think benefits from strong public services.

“So whether it’s more investment in the NHS, whether it’s more investment in schools, whether it’s more investment in skills, whether it’s more investment in policing and safer community. “These are public services that benefit everybody that was what yesterday was about.”

As it stands, third grants from SEISS can be claimed from November 30.

These can be claimed up until January 2021 and beyond this, there are plans to provide fourth grants in the following months.

The third grants will cover 80 percent of profits capped at £7,500 in total.

Further details on the level of support provided by the fourth grants are set to be revealed in due course.



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