As your MP, Emily is still here for you. Emily cannot hold her regular constituency advice surgeries, but you can contact our office by email with any concerns about your own situation, or about the government’s approach.

Get in touch at: emily.thornberry.mp@parliament.uk.

You can also still call our advice line. Please see the contact page for further details.

We Are Islington – For those of you who are currently isolated or feeling under particular stress, or who want to volunteer to help others, please call We Are Islington on: 0207 527 8222. They are doing wonderful work to support our most vulnerable residents.

The Coronavirus crisis is also causing severe financial hardship to many people, but if you are in one of the following categories, there may be some assistance available via the government that may help.

Workers who are at risk of being laid off should see if they can participate in the Job Retention (or Furlough) scheme. The scheme currently guarantees 80% of wages up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. The Government recently announced that the Job Retention Scheme will remain open until 30 September 2021. After 30 June 2021, the level of grant available to employers under the scheme will change. Google ‘Job Retention Scheme’ to find the government web page.

Self-employed people who cannot work may be able to claim up to 80% of their average income.

For the first three SEISS grants, self-employed people were required to have submitted their self-assessment form for tax year 2018-19 and had to continue to trade in 2019/2020. Claims for the third SEISS grant have now closed.

At the Budget, the Government announced the details on the fourth grant. Self-employed people will still be able to claim up to 80% of their average income, but this grant will now be based on their 2019-2020 tax return. It is also open to those who became self employed in tax year 2019 to 2020.

The Government announced that there will be a fifth and final grant covering May to September. Further details on the fifth grant will be provided in due course, but the amount of this grant will be determined by how much your turnover has been reduced in the year April 2020 to April 2021.

You can check if you are eligible and can find out more about the scheme by Googling ‘Self Employment Income Support Scheme’.

Anyone suffering from financial hardship should consider claiming Universal Credit; you won’t need to show you’re sick or looking for work, as you would do normally; the rate has been increased by 20% until the end of September; and there is extra help for renters.

Existing Universal Credit claimants will get these benefits automatically. Non-claimants should Google ‘Universal Credit’ to start their claim online. Or you can call 0800 328 5644 but expect a long queue.

Local business owners may be eligible for a Local Restriction Support Grant.

Businesses that are not eligible for the Local Restrictions Support Grant and freelancers not eligible for the HMRC Self-Employment Income Support Scheme may be able eligible for an Additional Restrictions Grant. Visit the business section on Islington Council’s website for details or Google ‘Local Restrictions Support Grant’ and ‘Additional Restrictions Grant’.

You can also Google ‘Government Business Support’ for details of the central government advice service, and potential loans, tax relief and cash grants you can claim.

 

Letters to constituents on Coronavirus

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