A NEW self-employed income support scheme from the government has been cautiously welcomed by county workers.

The government has described its package to help the self employed during the Covid-19 pandemic as “comprehensive”, but initial concerns have been raised about the timing of the first payment potentially arriving in June, given many had been suffering a major loss of income for weeks.

READ MORE: Schools continue to support children through 'lockdown'

READ MORE: Trust acts to make county hospital car parks free for NHS staff during pandemic

During Thursday’s Downing Street press conference, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said self-employed people facing financial difficulties would be able to have 80 per cent of their monthly wages covered by the government.

The chancellor explained the support package would cover 80 per cent of average earnings over the past three years, up to £2,500 per month, and would be paid out in one lump sum.For those businesses that had traded less than three years it was explained the government would work out an average from the time spent trading.

The government says the scheme will support 95 per cent of self-employed people, with the remaining five per cent understood to be the wealthiest self-employed people.

The chancellor described it as a “generous” and “comprehensive package,” that would be reassuring to self employed people, adding they had not been forgotten and “we are all in this together.”

But the concerns over the timing of receiving the first payout stemmed from the chancellor’s comments that he “hoped” people will be able to “access” the scheme “no later than June.”

This led some critics to argue Mr Sunak should have instead introduced a universal basic income, or a one off payment paid immediately and paid back later, to rescue self-employed and gig economy workers.

Michael Stallard, a self-employed printer, said: "I'm relieved that they have given us the same deal as employed people. As it was dragging on, I was getting worried they wouldn't."

After the announcement Robin Walker tweeted: “New self employed income support scheme of up to £2,500 per month will be a huge relief to millions. The same level of support available to the self employed as to employees.”

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin said: “Deliverable. Targeted. Temporary. The chancellor has overcome huge practical difficulties to get rapid support to the self-employed like hairdressers, plumbers, builders, childminders - glad he has heard the call from the Treasury to do more.”