Chancellor to throw lifeline to help self-employed workers

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A financial package aimed at helping self-employed workers get through the coronavirus crisis will be announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak with the Government under growing pressure to throw the sector a lifeline.

The move comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Parliament he wanted to achieve “parity of support” so the self-employed could have similar levels of protection to waged workers.

As the Commons shut down early for Easter due to the escalating epidemic, Mr Johnson told MPs: “There are particular difficulties with those who are not on PAYE schemes as … I think the whole House understands.

“We are bringing forward a package to ensure that everybody gets the support that they need.”

He added: “I cannot, in all candour, promise the House that we will be able to get through this crisis without any kind of hardship at all.

“We will do whatever we can to support the self-employed, just as we are putting our arms around every single employed person in this country.”

Ahead of the Chancellor’s announcement, The Daily Telegraph reported one in three self-employed workers were set to ask the Government to support their wages.

The move comes after Mr Sunak set out plans for 80% wage subsidies for PAYE employees last week.

This should affect 1.7 million of the five million self-employed, according to the Daily Telegraph.