Finance

SEISS Budget 2021: What SEISS updates can we expect in Sunak's Budget? Expert


Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced the “roadmap” for easing lockdown restrictions in England, within which he confirmed further job support would be announced in the March 3 Budget. This update by Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to include details on the fourth self-employed income support scheme, which is covering lost income throughout the three months to April. Strangely, the Government and Treasury has opted not to reveal details of the scheme until almost halfway through, which makes a huge change from the conduct seen throughout the pandemic.

What SEISS updates can we expect in Sunak’s Budget?

In terms of support for the self-employed, it’s likely that more measures will be announced.

While there is light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the pandemic and a return to somewhat of a normal life, there is still much left to do.

The economy won’t be able to open overnight, and self-employed workers will need time and economic support to be able to get back on their feet and render their businesses viable once more.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, however, James Lindley, Director of Venturezen Consulting, said the biggest changes will likely be to the scheme’s eligibility.

READ MORE: SEISS: The FIVE things self-employed hope Rishi Sunak will announce

Mr Lindley said: “Millions of self-employed have been unable to claim grants under the previous three SEISS schemes.

“The main individuals that have been left out are directors who didn’t file a 2018-2019 tax return, or those who earned more than £50,000 or less than half of their income from self-employment.

“It seems that a number of businesses in the hospitality and events sectors have been especially impacted, and the Government may well make moves to support those that have currently fallen foul of the system of support.”

When asked how long this support could be in place for, Mr Lindley estimates further jobs aid could last until May.

Mr Lindley said: “It is likely that those who have previously been able to claim COVID-19 support grants or those who have been fined for breaking restrictions will be excluded from receiving funds, and only company directors who are a ‘person of significant control’ would be entitled to the proposed support, with a number of other pre-requisites.

“Given the cross-party complimentary support, it’s likely that something positive will come in the Wednesday announcement.”

Mike Parkes, technical director of GoSimpleTax, told Express.co.uk the fourth grant is expected to follow in the footsteps of the last three, but when support would end is still undecided.

Mr Parkes said: “The fourth round of grants is expected to cover 80 percent of average monthly profits, up to a maximum of £2,500 for February, March and April.

“However, the real question is whether that support will go beyond May, when it’s expected SEISS will either be dropped altogether, or scaled back to coincide with the opening up of the economy.

“This could mean capping the grant at 20 percent of average monthly profits, rather than 80 percent, or implementing more targeted measures for specific professions and sectors.

“The reality is that self-employed workers will be feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic long after support measures are withdrawn or scaled back.”

A recent survey by GoSimpleTax showed that 85 percent of self-employed workers have urged the Treasury for increased support.

The Budget takes place on Wednesday, March 3, sometime after 12pm, during which all will, inevitably, be made clear.



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