The government will bring another 600,000 self-employed people into its Covid support scheme.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) in the Budget.
Any self-employed person who filed a 2019/20 tax return by midnight before the Budget will be brought into SEISS.
SEISS will continue to September with a fourth grant covering February, March and April and a fifth grant from July.
The rules will change with the fifth grant. Those whose turnover has fallen by 30% or more will continue to receive 80% of three months’ average trading profits. Others whose turnover has reduced by less than 30% will receive only a 30% grant, which is taxable.
Sunak said the scheme had cost £33 billion. His extension of SEISS follows a campaign by Excluded UK, which estimates three million people were locked out of the original SEISS scheme because they were recently or part-self-employed.
Excluded UK estimates 1.6 million self-employed were originally excluded, plus another 710,000 limited company directors such as independent agency owners who pay themselves via dividends. Also left out were business owners with trading profits of more than £50,000.