The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has welcomed the increase in the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme from 40% to 80% of income, saying it is “vital support” for many of the self-employed.

However, the association has raised concerns about what is describes as “devastating gaps” in the package, suggesting the Government seems to be “wilfully ignoring a third of the self-employed”.

Derek Cribb, CEO of IPSE, said the increase in SEISS will provide “vital support” for many of the UK’s struggling self-employed. “It is important to note that this enhanced 80% rate only covers November, mirroring the extended furlough scheme,” he said. “It is vital that if the furlough scheme is extended, SEISS should be adjusted accordingly.

Cribb added that it is “deeply troubling” that the Government has not fixed the gaps in SEISS, despite urgent recommendations from the Treasury Select Committee. He said: “After so many calls to resolve the problems, it now looks as if the government is wilfully ignoring a third of the self-employed.

“The first lockdown drastically undermined self-employed incomes, and the gaps in government support led to the biggest drop in self-employed numbers on record. Unless government wakes up to the problem and supports all the self-employed, the second lockdown will accelerate the decline and hollow out swathes of this vital sector.”