Nervous wait for self-employed, as SEISS announcement is delayed
The Self Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has been a lifeline for many self-employed people within the UK. The COVID-19 monetary support package from the government has been designed to mirror the furlough scheme that is in place for employed individuals. However, one thing it certainly does not mirror the furlough scheme in is with regard to the timeliness of announcements.
Prior to Christmas, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced that the furlough scheme would continue at 80% until April so that employed individuals would feel secure over Christmas and into the New Year. Unfortunately, the self-employed workforce has not been afforded the same luxury. While the third grant is due to end on the 29th of January, it has been revealed by journalist Martin Lewis that the SEISS grant 4 announcement will not be made until the government budget announcement on the 3rd of March. This means that millions of self-employed people will be waiting anxiously to learn whether they can pay their bills or not.
So far, self-employed individuals in the UK who have been eligible for the grant have received three payments, the first being 80% of net profit, the second being 70%, and the third being 80%. However, there is no word on what the percentage will be for the fourth grant. There is also no word on whether the eligibility criteria will change.
Those with a hopeful attitude will expect the eligibility criteria to expand, hence the delay. There has been a lot of noise for individuals who have found themselves excluded from SEISS support. This includes those who have been newly self-employed, as well as company directors. The hope is that the delays mean that the government has been working on ways to help these individuals. Of course, we should say that this is only speculation at the moment.
For those who are struggling to project their finances at the moment because of the delayed announcement, it makes sense to connect with an accountant who can help to assess where you are at the moment so that you can make plans for the coming months. Leading accountants have access to the best accounting software for small business owners and self-employed professionals, helping you to project your finances effectively.
There are other forms of government help available for those who require it. The government-backed Bounce Back Loans have been very popular. These loans are open until the 31st of March, 2021, for those who are interested. The interest on these loans is minimal. However, it should be pointed out that this is still a debt and it will need to be paid back. Repayments will begin a year after you have taken the loan out.
There is no denying that it has been a stressful time for everyone, and the delayed SEISS announcement will have a lot of people feeling worried and nervous about what lies ahead. Hopefully, the government will rethink its intentions to leave the SEISS announcement until March.