Business office or store shop is closed, bankrupt business due to the effect of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Unidentified person wearing mask hanging closed sign in background on front door.

More than 60 MPs have backed a proposal from the APPG on Gaps in Support to remove the £50,000 cap on trading profits for future Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants.

Currently, self-employed people can claim SEISS on trading profits up to £50,000 per annum. However, while someone with profits of £49,999 is eligible for significant support, someone with profits of £50,001 has received nothing.

With the Budget due next month, the APPG on Gaps in Support submitted a policy proposal to HM Treasury on Friday (12th February) that would see the £50,000 cap scrapped from future SEISS grants. The Government’s Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) statistics suggests that 200,000 people have been ineligible for government support as a result of this arbitrary cap.

In a letter to the Chancellor, a cross-party group of MPs led by Conservative members of the APPG Esther McVey MP (co-chair) and Philip Davies MP, highlighted the “instrumental” role that business owners and higher rate taxpayers will play in the UK’s economic recovery and urged the Government to “support every single business” they are asking to close.

The cross-party letter argues: “Our entrepreneurs, and self-employed self-starters, were a driving force behind the UK’s pre-pandemic ascent to the top of the G7 economic growth charts. They will also be instrumental in Britain’s economic recovery – on the condition they are provided with the necessary support to survive this bleak period.

“We ask you to consider the livelihoods and wellbeing of these people, their staff, and their families. It takes courage and determination to start a business, and even more courage to expand a business through investment and hard work. We cannot penalise these people with such an arbitrary cap that does not incentivise the expansion of British business.”
Esther McVey MP, co-chair of the APPG and a signatory to the letter, said:

“The £50k cap on trading profits has arbitrarily left more than 200,000 people without government support for nearly a year, depriving them of an income and placing them under unimaginable strain.

“With no current plans to ease the lockdown, the Government must support every single business that they are asking to close.

“The policy we are suggesting would be simple to administer, fraud-resistant and affordable. There is no excuse to delay its introduction.”


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