Martin Lewis has blasted a new rule for self-employed workers seeking cash relief after coronavirus decimated their funds.
The MoneySavingExpert founder branded the rule ‘bizarre’ in his latest newsletter to subscribers.
Mr Lewis, who has his own ITV1 show The Martin Lewis Money Show, discussed the changes to the self-employed grant rules.
The coronavirus crisis has left many employers furloughing staff, with cash relief for those affected, but the self-employed had to wait longer for assistance, reports the Daily Record.
But certain loopholes meant many were ineligible to claim for cash relief after having to close their businesses amid the nationwide lockdown.
This week, Martin warned: “We are amid a health earthquake, yet the worry is we will see a possibly even more devastating financial aftershock.
“With rapid economic decline, and unemployment levels likely to rise maybe even higher than in the early ’80s, there are huge challenges for individuals and society.”
The new self-employed scheme rule means it is now only for businesses affected by the pandemic on or after July 14.
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Guidance will be announced on Friday for the second grant scheduled to be paid in August.
The second grant offers 70 per cent of your average monthly trading profits, paid in a single instalment covering a further three months worth of profits – capped at £6,570 in total.
Martin wrote: “Disappointingly for many excluded from the first grant, this has the same eligibility criteria, so if you were ineligible for that, you are ineligible for this.
“As the Govt’s own press release from 26 Mar stated: ‘The income support scheme… will cover the three months to May,’ ie, Mar, Apr and May. Logic (and basic counting) therefore suggests the second 3mth grant covers Jun, Jul and Aug.
“So it’s very strange to read the new rule that says you have to declare your business was impacted after mid-July, and unfair on businesses heavily impacted in June and recovered by then.”
Martin added: “So the new rules are clear. But the implication and message this sends is as clear as mud. If, as the Govt announced, the first ‘3mth’ grant covered Mar, Apr and May, but also now sort-of Jun and half of Jul, what does the second ‘3mth’ grant cover?”
The finance guru says you have to prove you or your staff have been unable to work because of the lockdown, can’t access your usual place of work, or your revenue has been negatively impacted.