Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today announced details of a package to help support people who are self-employed during the coronavirus outbreak – the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.
MaPS money expert Nick Hill said:
“This is an extremely worrying and uncertain time for everyone, and particularly people who work for themselves. While the package announced by the government is being put in place, there are still steps the self-employed can take to help shore up their finances, and protect themselves as much as possible from financial problems right now and further down the line.
“Hard as it is, the most important thing, now more than ever, is to take a moment to assess all your outgoings, talk to your creditors, and check whether you can access savings which would normally be locked away. If after that you are still worried about making ends meet, make sure you have fully considered all your options before looking at credit products to plug any gaps, and that you have understood the terms and conditions and know how much you will have to pay back in future.”
Five key steps for the self-employed
- Do an emergency budget. The Money and Pensions Service’s free budget planning tool can be used to break down finances to help identify where cuts can be made.
- Check your insurance policies. Policies such as mortgage payment protection and accident and unemployment insurance may offer protection, so it is worth checking what you could be entitled to.
- Check what support is available from your financial providers. Many companies like banks are offering emergency support and taking measures such as temporarily cutting overdraft fees. It’s worthwhile speaking to lenders now to find out your options.
- Speak to your creditors. Mortgage lenders have announced support for those affected by coronavirus, and the Government has also brought in more protection for renters. For utilities such as gas and electric, speak to your provider as soon as possible if you think you won’t be able to make a payment.
- Prepare to use your emergency savings, if you have them. Some banks and building societies are now making it easier for people to access particular accounts such as fixed rate accounts before maturity. Find out what yours can offer.
A MaPS explainer on today’s announcement is now online here https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you#if-youre-self-employed-or-a-sole-trader
For more guidance from the Money and Pensions Service on how to help reduce the financial impact of the pandemic, visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/coronavirus-and-your-money
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Notes to editors
About the Money and Pensions Service
The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) vision is: ‘everyone making the most of their money and pensions.’
MaPS is an arm’s-length body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and it has a joint commitment to provide access to the information and guidance people across the UK need, to make effective financial decisions over their lifetime. The organisation also engages with HM Treasury on policy matters relating to financial capability and debt advice.
MaPS brings together the free services previously delivered by the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise. MaPS offers customers guidance and appointments over the telephone, online and in person.
For further information visit the Money and Pensions Service website www.moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk
Consumers can continue to access free guidance about their money and pensions via the following websites and help lines: