Coronavirus: Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering further measures to protect the self-employed

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering further measures to protect the self-employed from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, a Cabinet minister signalled this morning.

Mr Sunak has faced criticism that his plan to underwrite the wages of millions of workers who face being laid off as activity dries up does nothing for the country’s five million freelancers, contractors and other self-employed workers.

Today Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for a ‘message’ from the Government to those workers, saying ‘the danger is here now and present’.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said other emergency measures put in place by the Government will help them, but he added ministers are now looking to see what more can be done.

He told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show: “We appreciate this isn’t perfect and the Chancellor is going to keep reviewing the situation and see if there are further measures we can take.

“It isn’t easy, it’s not as simple as supporting those who are in employment.

“The purpose of our employment mechanism is to help continue the connection between employees and their business so once this is over – and it will be over – those individuals can return to their usual work and that link isn’t broken.

“It is operationally very difficult to create a scheme akin to that for the self-employed but we are reviewing this. If there are further steps we need to do, we will take them.”

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Lizzie Day

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