SEISS: Rishi Sunak urged to extend support past April to self-employed Britons, poll finds

Martin Lewis gives update on SEISS grant for self-employed

SEISS is scheduled to draw to a close following the fourth grant, details of which are to be announced in due course. The programme, formally known as the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, was designed to offer grants to Britons impacted by the ongoing pandemic. As the situation continued to escalate, the Chancellor announced an extension to SEISS, designed to cover the months of November 2020 to April 2021. 

SEISS grants have covered a proportion of trading profits to give eligible self-employed people financial assistance if their work has been impacted.

However, with the scheme set to end in mere months, it appears some believe this level of support is not enough. conducted a poll of its readers, asking about support made available by SEISS.

The poll asked: “Should SEISS support be extended by Chancellor Rishi Sunak?”

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Out of those who responded to the poll, a solid majority believed the Government could go further with providing assistance to the self-employed at this time.

Some 83 percent of poll responders said SEISS should be extended further to help the self-employed.

However, another opinion was also expressed by readers in regards to the matter.

A total of 17 percent of those asked stated they believed the current support under SEISS is enough.

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The poll showed that while many believe the Chancellor should perhaps enact SEISS Grant 5, others feel help has gone far enough at this time.

Of course, the ultimate decision will be down to Mr Sunak who is expected to reveal the most up-to-date assessment in his March Budget.

Mr Sunak and the Government have delayed making any further announcements outside of the highly anticipated Budget in only a few weeks time.

It is thought that alongside SEISS support, the Chancellor may also touch upon key issues such as furlough and taxation for the coming year.

In addition, those who have previously been excluded from gaining Government support for numerous eligibility reasons, known commonly as ExcludedUK, are hopeful the Chancellor’s support will be extended to them.

There is the potential for the eligibility criteria for these schemes to be changed, but whether this will actually be enacted is not yet clear. 

So far, there are only certain details available about the SEISS fourth grant which have been released by the Government.

The next grant period is set to cover the months of February to April 2021.

It will cover a certain percentage of trading profits, but the exact amount is, as of yet, unclear.

The Chancellor is also expected to announce when the next applications for SEISS grant four will open, as grant 3 applications closed on January 29.

For those who need alternative methods of support while waiting for an SEISS grant, or for individuals unable to access one, the Government has offered guidance.

Firstly, some may be able to claim Universal Credit, but should take caution with regards to how a claim could affect any tax credits received.

Self-employed people may also be able to receive additional forms of support as laid out by the Government.

These include the Bounce Back Loan, Test and Trace support payments and the Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

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