Chancellor to announce package of support for the self-employed amid the coronavirus crisis

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has revealed support for small businesses - but what does it mean? Pict

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has revealed support for small businesses - but what does it mean? Picture: Matt Dunham/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A financial package aimed at helping the self-employed get through the coronavirus crisis will be announced by the chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The government has been under growing pressure to throw the sector a lifeline, since 80pc wage subsidies for PAYE employees were announced last week.

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.

The chancellor will outline his measures later today, the day the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 is likely to pass 10,000.

They include the Prince of Wales, who is self-isolating in Scotland after testing positive with what Clarence House described as “mild symptoms”.

In Norfolk, the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of Wednesday, March 25, is 45, an increase of three on the previous day.

Three people have died from the disease in the county.

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.”

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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.

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

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