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Rishi Sunak hints that taxes will rise in future to pay for packages 

by Julieta Mortimer (2020-04-15)


Rishi Sunak last night hinted that future taxes will have to rise to pay for the unprecedented economic bailouts for business, workers and the self-employed. 

page1-88px-Investigation_of_the_UkrainiaUnveiling a huge rescue package for Britain's army of self-employed workers, the Chancellor said he had set aside economic orthodoxy to deal with the national emergency, but warned that would come at a cost as the public finances are plunged deep into the red. 

The latest scheme - which will allow almost four million people to claim back 80 per cent of lost profits - follows huge bailouts last week for business and those in employment. 

Speaking at a press conference in No10, Mr Sunak issued a direct warning that the price of the package would include the future loss of their tax and national insurance perks, saying: 'If you all want to benefit equally from state support you must all pay in equally in the future.' 












Chancellor Rishi Sunak holding a digital press conference about the coronavirus outbreak


With the overall cost of economic support now running to hundreds of millions of pounds, and tax revenues collapsing, the Chancellor also hinted at wider tax hikes in future, saying that everybody would be 'chipping in'. 

The Treasury said that tax changes would be set at future Budgets. But a Government source said it was right to 'level with people' that the extraordinary bailout packages would eventually have to be paid for. 

Last week the Government announced a £350billion package of support for business, and pledged to pay 80 per cent of the wages of employees whose jobs would otherwise disappear because of the crisis. 

And in yesterday's announcement Mr Sunak said the self-employed would ultimately benefit from 'tens of billions of pounds' in state help. 






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Grants will be worth 80 per cent of a person's average monthly profit over the last three years, up to a maximum of £2,500. 

To claim the cash, people will simply have to show that their profits fell as a result of the epidemic. 

The scheme is expected to cost £3billion a month for three months but could be extended if the epidemic continues. 

Some 3.8 million self-employed people will be eligible to claim, with payments expected to average £940 a month each. 

Payments will not be available until June, leading to questions about how people will survive financially until then. 

Matt Dowling, head of the Freelancer Club, said thousands would be forced out of business as they waited for payment, the Daily Telegraph reported. And Peter Kyle, a Labour MP, told the newspaper 'five million people' risked being left 'high and dry'.

'We're talking days or a couple of weeks for some before they're out of business,' he said. 












Chancellor Rishi Sunak outside 10 Downing Street, London, joining in with a national applause for the NHS to show appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus


People will be contacted directly by HMRC about their eligibility and will receive three months' money backdated. 

The scheme will not be available to those whose profits average more than £50,000 a year, who account for roughly five per cent of the total. 

They will also not be available to 1.7 million people who are registered as self-employed but get most of their income from a regular job. 

New businesses that did not file a tax return in 2018/9 will not be eligible, with the Treasury saying it would be impossible to fairly estimate their income.



 




SIMON WALTERS: Mr Moneybags Rishi Sunak has made it abundantly clear about coronavirus aid packages... he wants it all back
During his six weeks as Chancellor, the sight of Rishi Sunak standing at the Downing Street lectern giving away billions has become so familiar you would expect less cash if a magic money tree appeared in his place.

But Sunak was not just Mr Moneybags yesterday: He made it crystal clear that he wants it all back.

In doing so he passed the first test of any politician who wants to be taken seriously - he showed he had the ability and courage to announce bad news as well as good.












Chancellor Rishi Sunak holding a digital press conference about the coronavirus outbreak







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Chancellor Rishi Sunak outside 10 Downing Street, London, joining in with a national applause for the NHS to show appreciation for all NHS workers who are helping to fight the Coronavirus


He told the self-employed that in return for the help he gave them, they will no longer be able to pay less tax than others.

If we all want to benefit, he said in explicit terms, we must all pay in equally.

But the self-employed won't be the only ones who pay more. Everyone will have to 'chip in to right the ship', said Sunak.