Theatre News

113 MPs sign open letter urging Chancellor to extend support for self-employed workers

Financial support for the self-employed will end this week

Two people talking backstage during a set-up
Two people talking backstage during a set-up
An open letter signed by 113 MPs has been sent to Chancellor Rishi Sunak asking for an extension to freelancer support during the covid lockdown.

With the existing Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) only covering months from March to June, many self-employed individuals will have no financial support (and few opportunities for work) over the coming months.

The SEISS has given self-employed individuals a grant of 80% of their average profits, up to £2,500, for three months. Many have, however, found themselves ineligible for the scheme.

Within today's letter, MP Siobhan McDonagh states that "it remains unclear whether any extension to the Self-Employment Support Scheme" will be announced, after the previous statement from the Chancellor that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (which supports those not self-employed) would be extended until October 2020, albeit in an altered form.

McDonagh also stated that while "some of our self-employed constituents may be able to return to work over the coming weeks and months, it remains likely that many will not".

A large number of open letters have highlighted the plight of freelancers during the lockdown, including one signed by dozens of major arts organisations.

You can read the full letter and its signatories below:

— Siobhain McDonagh MP (@Siobhain_Mc) May 29, 2020