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Covid-19: Support for the Self-employed

Volume 686: debated on Tuesday 15 December 2020

The Government have already paid £13.5 billion through the self-employment income support scheme. In November, we announced an increase in the overall level of the SEISS grant, equivalent to an additional £7.3 billion of support to the self-employed through November to January alone. This scheme is among the most generous in the world.

As the pandemic continues, the flaws of the original self-employment income support scheme have become clear. One of my constituents lost out on thousands of pounds in a potential grant because, for the best part of the year in 2019, he was injured, unable to work and therefore could not evidence his usual income. When the pandemic started, we all appreciated the fact that these schemes were put into place very quickly to provide support, but in the months since, there has not even been recognition. Does the Minister agree that now is the time to look back at schemes to ensure that those who are excluded are supported, too?

I thank the hon. Lady for her question. We will always look for and listen to suggestions on how we can improve schemes, and I will continue to work with Treasury colleagues to reflect that.