MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis has offered advice for self-employed people affected by coronavirus

Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 1:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 2:34 pm

Martin Lewis has laid out simple advice for self-employed people who have been affected financially by the coronavirus outbreak, urging them to stay calm.

In a video posted to his Twitter account, the MoneySavingExpert founder confirms that the government is working on a care package for the self-employed as a “pressing priority”.

He suggests this would “put the self employed in some form of parity with employees who are getting 80 per cent of their salaries, up to £2,500 if they can’t work or if work isn’t available.”

Stating that the government “hope to make an announcement this week, which means by Friday [27 Mar] at the latest”, Lewis acknowledges “it could spread on a little bit beyond that.”

Yet, in light of this, he firmly warns the self employed who are worried that help isn’t coming, to remain calm.

“Hold on. Don’t make any drastic changes yet. Wait to see what that support package is,” says Lewis.

‘Don’t write off Universal Credit’

Giving his opinion upon the government’s plans of action, the finance expert comments that “the state is trying to keep the economy going and support people through this” while stressing “its just being a little bit slow with the self employed because it's technically difficult to get there.”

He also advises people to consider what has already changed, including the deferment of tax self assessments by six months, and changes to employment support allowance, entitling the self-employed to “the equivalent of sick pay.”

Finally, he mentions the changes to Universal Credit, which he recommends people should not dismiss simply due to recent headlines.

“[Universal Credit has] been widely poo pooed because people have seen the headline figure of £1,000 extra to universal credit [...] which for many people out there who have bills coming in, is neither hither nor thither,” remarks Lewis.

Instead, he asks the self-employed to focus on important changes to housing payments within universal credit. According to Lewis this has been “increased quite substantially.”

“These changes to housing payment can work for private renters and interest of mortgages among other housing payments,” he goes on.

Lewis’ video comes after many requests from his social media followers for advice, after he made an earlier video addressing employed staff affected by the coronavirus outbreak.