£34 million support package for recently self-employed people who are excluded from the UK’s support scheme


April 2020

Economy Secretary says new Hardship Fund will be open for applications by the end of April 2020 and will allocate grants in early May

The Scottish Government has confirmed details of the support it is providing to the recently self-employed who are excluded from the UK’s Self-employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

NB - a key feature of the UK’s SEISS is that it is available to those who were already in self-employment with a tax return for 2019, therefore excluding all those who became self-employed in the 2019/2020 tax year.

Confirming allocations from £100 million of new funding to support the self-employed and businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in a statement to the Scottish Parliament yesterday, Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said that £34 million has been used to set up a 'Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund', that will be open for applications from newly self-employed people facing hardship by the end of April 2020, and will start awarding grants of £2,000 in early May.

Outlining why the additional funding is needed, Ms Hyslop said -

‘The UK Government has the immediate fiscal and macro-economic powers to respond to this economic crisis, and have made substantial, welcome commitments to support businesses and employees.

However, it doesn’t fully meet the needs of Scottish businesses. There are still significant gaps in both the Job Retention Scheme and the support for the self-employed. Last week, along with the Finance Secretary, I wrote to the Chancellor outlining the changes that need to be made.

I am also pressing the UK Government to urgently share data on implementation of support schemes so we are better able to tailor our support to businesses.'

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: Economy Secretary's statement 21 April 2020 is available from gov.scot

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