Over the past week we have continued to make representations to government about the need to create a programme of support for companies and individuals in the creative industries sector, particularly the importance of extending government support to the freelance community. Along with the other Public Service Broadcasters we wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking the UK Government to support the critically important freelance community of the UK creatives industries.We also made separate representations to DCMS and the Secretary of State for Wales on this issue. The announcement by the Chancellor of a new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme is therefore welcome news.The UK Government will pay self-employed people, who have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus, a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month.This scheme will be open for at least three months but could be extended for longer if necessary.
The following steps are part of the scheme:
to make sure that the scheme provides targeted support for those most in need, it will be open to anyone with income up to £50,000;
to make sure only the genuinely self-employed benefit, it will be available to people who make the majority of their income from self-employment;
and to minimise fraud, only those who are already in self-employment, who have a tax return for 2019, will be able to apply.
HMRC are working on this urgently and expect people to be able to access the scheme no later than the beginning of June.Those eligible will be contacted directly by HMRC and asked to fill out a simple online form.Further details can be found here:
The UK Government believe that 95% of people who are majority self-employed will benefit from this scheme.However, we are aware that there are freelancers who have raised fears that they will not qualify for the scheme due to their employment status and the fact that they must make PAYE contributions rather than complete a tax return.We will be raising this issue with the UK Government.