MORE than 25,000 newly self-employed people across the South East will not get any funding through the Government’s coronavirus support scheme, figures show.

A body which represents the country’s self-employed workers says the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, which was launched in March, is still letting tens of thousands of people across the UK tumble through the gap.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced self-employed people will be able to claim a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits, up to £2,500 a month, to protect them from the fallout of the pandemic.

But those who became self-employed during the last year are not eligible to apply – of whom there are around 150,000 across the country.

The Office for National Statistics analysed the number of workers in 14 city regions across the UK, as well as non-metropolitan regions.

The South East is home to 17% of the country’s self-employed workers at risk of missing out on the scheme.

Across the region, 25,681 people became self-employed during the 2019-20 tax year.

The real figure is likely to be even higher, as those who began their solo venture between January and March 2020 have not yet been counted.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed said the support scheme does give generous support to millions across the country, but that more needs to be done to support the newly self-employed.

Andy Chamberlain, director of policy at IPSE, said: “Too many of the UK’s vital self-employed community are still tumbling through the gaps in the financial support package.

An HMT spokesman said: “We’re fully committed to supporting the self-employed and our Self Employment Income Support scheme is one of the most generous in the


“Those who do not qualify will be able to access a range of other support – including income tax deferrals, £1 billion more support for renters and access to three-month mortgage holidays.”