EMERGENCY measures to support self-employed business owners are “not perfect” but “provide a safety net for the majority”.

That’s the verdict from Bracknell MP James Sunderland after financial support was announced for those people with their own companies and firms.

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The self-employed community will be able to apply for a grant of 80 per cent of the income from their average monthly profits.

Those who pay themselves a dividend as company owners are not covered, however.

Bracknell MP James Sunderland had been speaking with ministers about the self-employed community’s concerns before the measures were announced.

Reacting to the new funding, he told the News: “This is the biggest state intervention we’ve had since the Second World War and I’m very pleased as a Conservative MP by what the government is doing.

“But it’s not perfect and it is physically impossible to get this right all across the UK.

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“So when the government tells me that in terms of the self-employed 95 per cent are covered by the measures, I’m pretty happy with that.

“But of course my focus is then on the five per cent who won’t be looked after as well.

Bracknell News:

“I think my current focus at the moment is on those direct owners and sole business owners who rely upon dividend income.

“That’s an issue for me to deal with. I’m staffing that back to the cabinet office. There is an issue there.

“But as the chancellor will say to you, these are measures designed to provide a safety net for the majority, not necessarily for the wealthiest in society.”

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The scheme is also not open for those who earn more than £50,000 a year — which is around three-quarters of all self-employed in the UK, according to the BBC.

For those who do receive the grant, the money will not be available until June and the cash will be taxable.

Andrea Hathaway, who is from Easthampstead and who runs her own childminding business, believes self-employed business owners will be able to judge whether the financial package is enough after lockdown measures end.

She said: “I think that for many self-employed people this support package will bring relief that at least there will be some money coming in.

“June is a long wait for those who don’t have savings to live off in the interim, and, for newly self-employed, those without three years of records, it may not be enough.

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“The Universal Credit lifeline doesn’t seem to be much help, I personally have to wait until the end of April for a callback appointment and even then I’m pretty certain I won’t be eligible for any payment.

“I think that whether the financial package is enough will depend on how long the lockdown continues.

“80 per cent of income, that is then subject to being taxed, is not enough to meet my long term outgoings.

“After three months the mortgage payments will start again, and be more expensive because of added interest, council tax payment will commence after a two-month delay, the list goes on.

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“For now, the measures are enough for me personally and hopefully in three months time, we may be back at work.

“I know some families are really struggling to work from home and care for their young children that would normally be coming to me.”