Over 100 MPs demand extension of self-employed income support scheme

Sienna Rodgers
© Twitter/@RishiSunak

A cross-party group of over 100 MPs have written to the Chancellor today to demand an extension of the coronavirus self-employed income scheme that is currently supporting millions.

The job retention scheme for employees, who can be furloughed by their bosses, has been extended by Rishi Sunak to October. The move was praised by Labour and trade unions.

But the equivalent Covid-19 programme for self-employed workers has not been extended. The Prime Minister has said that the scheme, due to end this weekend, is “under review”.

The self-employment income support scheme (SEISS) has seen 2.3 million claims, totalling £6.8bn, according to HMRC. The newly self-employed were not eligible to apply for the help.

In a letter coordinated by Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh, SEISS along with the furlough scheme are said to have “proven invaluable lifelines of support for those eligible to receive them”.

It points out, however, that unlike the job retention scheme it “remains unclear whether any extension to the self-employment income support scheme will be announced”.

The letter reads: “Whilst 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. If the scheme does not continue, they will be left without work and without support.”

113 MPs from across parliament – Labour, Conservative, SNP, Lib Dem, Green, Plaid Cymru, Social Democratic and Labour Party, Alliance, and DUP – have signed the letter to Sunak.

Commenting on the letter, lead signatory and MP for for Mitcham and Morden McDonagh said: “This scheme is a lifeline for millions of locked-down workers right across the country.

“There are already significant holes in the support, but removing what is already in place would pull the safety net from under the feet of millions of self-employed workers. How can it be right for the furloughed scheme to continue but this scheme to not?”


Below is the list of MP signatories.

Siobhain McDonagh MP, Debbie Abrahams MP, Rushanara Ali MP, Tahir Ali MP, Hannah Bardell MP, Paula Barker MP, Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Clive Betts MP, Sir Peter Bottomley MP, Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw MP, Angus Brendan MacNeil MP, Kevin Brennan MP, Deirdre Brock MP, Alan Brown MP, Karen Buck MP, Dawn Butler MP, Ian Byrne MP, Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP, Amy Callaghan MP, Gregory Campbell MP, Rt Hon Alistair Carmichael MP, Wendy Chamberlain MP, Sarah Champion MP, Rosie Cooper MP, Daisy Cooper MP, Ronnie Cowan MP, Neil Coyle MP, Angela Crawley MP, Stella Creasy MP, Jon Cruddas MP, Rt Hon Sir Edward Davey MP, Martyn Day MP, Martin Docherty-Hughes MP, Rt Hon Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP, Dave Doogan MP, Allan Dorans MP, Peter Dowd MP, Maria Eagle MP, Colum Eastwood MP, Clive Efford MP, Julie Elliott MP, Tim Farron MP, Stephen Farry MP, Marion Fellows MP, Yvonne Fovargue MP, Patricia Gibson MP, Paul Girvan MP, Neil Gray MP, Lilian Greenwood MP, Andrew Gwynne MP, Claire Hanna MP, Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP, Sir Mark Hendrick MP, Mike Hill MP, Wera Hobhouse MP, Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge MP, Rt Hon Sir George Howarth MP, Dr Rupa Huq MP, Christine Jardine MP, Dan Jarvis MP, Kim Johnson MP, Dame Diana Johnson MP, Barbara Keeley MP, Ben Lake MP, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Clive Lewis MP, Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis MP, Carla Lockhart MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Kenny Macaskill MP, Steve McCabe MP, Stewart McDonald MP, Stuart McDonald MP, Catherine McKinnell MP, Anne McLaughlin MP, John McNally MP, Ian Mearns MP, Carol Monaghan MP, Layla Moran MP, Grahame Morris MP, Sir Robert Neill MP, John Nicolson MP, Brendan O’Hara MP, Sarah Olney MP, Kate Osamor MP, Kate Osborne MP, Ian Paisley MP, Christina Rees MP, Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, Gavin Robinson MP, Andrew Rosindell MP, Liz Saville-Roberts MP, Jim Shannon MP, Virendra Sharma MP, Barry Sheerman MP, Andrew Slaughter MP, Alyn Smith MP, Rt Hon John Spellar MP, Chris Stephens MP, Jamie Stone MP, Sam Tarry MP, Alison Thewliss MP, Owen Thompson MP, Richard Thomson MP, Derek Twigg MP, Dr Philippa Whitford MP, Mick Whitley MP, Nadia Whittome MP, Hywel Williams MP, Munira Wilson MP, Sammy Wilson MP, Pete Wishart MP, Mohammad Yasin MP

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