Coronavirus: What has the government announced to help self-employed people?

The government scheme self-employed people to help them through the coronavirus pandemic will open on Wednesday 13 May.

The chancellor has said 95% of all self-employed workers will be covered by the scheme.

The government had been under increasing pressure to extend financial protection to the self-employed sector.

So what are the measures and how will they help workers or work for themselves?

What has the government announced?

Rishi Sunak announced the measures on Thursday afternoon.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out plans that will see the self-employed receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least three months.

The scheme is set to bring self-employed workers into line with those who are full time employed, meaning that they will not be worse off after being told they are unable to work to help control the virus.

The scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in the last tax year, or the same amount as an average of the past three tax years.

Who qualifies for the support?

The government has introduced a series of emergency measures to battle the virus. Credit: PA

To be eligible for the support, the government says workers will have to earn more than half of their income in these periods must come from self-employment.

In a bid to minimise fraud, only those who are already in self-employment and meet the above conditions will be eligible to apply.

The government has said HMRC will contact those eligible with guidance on how to apply for the scheme.

In a statement, the government said individuals should not contact HMRC now and that the taxman will contact them directly after correlating a list of those eligible.

How will the money be paid?

The money will help millions of self-employed workers. Credit: PA

The income support scheme, which is fresh out of the box, will be extended until August.

Grants will be paid in a single lump-sum instalment covering all three months and will start to be paid in late June.

Before grant payments are made, the self-employed will still be able to access other available government support for those affected by coronavirus including an extended universal credit service and business continuity loans, where they have a business bank account

What other support has the government offered?

The Government has already set out plans for 80% wage subsidies or up to £2,500 per month for staff kept on by employers, as part of "unprecedented" measures to prevent workers being laid off due to the virus crisis.

The measures are expected the save millions of jobs from the axe, allowing the economy to be kickstarted again once the lockdown is ended.