UK government set to pay self-employed workers 80% of earnings

Rishi Sunak

The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, is expected to announce that the taxpayer will pay self-employed workers up to 80% of their recent earnings to help contain the economic impact of coronavirus, as 470,000 extra benefits claims sparked warnings of an ‘unemployment crisis’.

Sunak has been under growing pressure to do more for the UK’s 5 million self-employed after announcing an unprecedented job retention scheme for employees last Friday, that will see thousands paid to stay at home.

It comes as Covid-19 claimed the life of a 21-year-old woman from Buckinghamshire, according to her family, and Britain’s deputy ambassador to Hungary, who was 37. The number of confirmed UK cases stood at just over 8,000 on Wednesday night.

Details of the support package were still being finalised last night, but sources with knowledge of the plan suggested it would echo the promise of covering 80% of recent earnings that Sunak made to employees last week.

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