The chancellor Rishi Sunak will be making further announcements on supportive measures for self-employed workers “in the coming days,” he said in the House of Commons yesterday afternoon.

Following various Government packages – The Jobs Retention Scheme and the £330bn loan fund – intended to protect businesses and their employees, there have been growing demands to offer a similar level of support for the self-employed.

Currently, whilst employees are entitled to an 80% Government wage subsidy, self-employed people unable to work are only entitled to £94 a week through universal credit, but Sunak has said the issue is “something we’ve been looking at in intense detail over the past week.”

“We’re in dialogue with all the key stakeholder groups, including calls I’m having today with several of those bodies,” he said. “There are genuine practical and principled reasons why it is incredibly complicated to design an analogous scheme to the one that we have for employed workers.”

“But we absolutely understand the situation that many self-employed people face at the moment as a result of what’s happened and are determined to find a way to support them. We just need to be confident that can be done in a way that is deliverable and is fair to the vast majority of the British workforce.”

European countries including Norway, Germany, Italy and France have all introduced schemes to support self-employed workers. In Norway, the Government pays self-employed people 80% of their average earnings over the previous three-year period.

In the UK, the main demand from those affected is for an extension of the Jobs Retention scheme to include the self-employed.

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