Chancellor faces Tory rebellion if he doesn’t extend grants scheme for the self-employed

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THE Chancellor faces a major Tory rebellion over state support for the self-employed.

At least 40 MPs are set to make a stand if Rishi Sunak does not extend the earnings aid scheme.

The backbench rebels are set to give Mr Sunak until the end of next week to commit to an extension

Nearly four million workers are on the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, paying up to £7,500 over three months for lost earnings.

The aid is only in place until the end of the month despite the furlough scheme covering 80 per cent of wages for full-time staff being extended until October.

A 40-MP revolt would be enough to defeat the Government’s 80-seat majority. The backbench rebels are set to give Mr Sunak until the end of next week to commit to an extension.

Stephen McPartland wants the scheme to be extended until July. That would bring it into line with the job retention furlough, which will ask bosses to start contributing to pay from August 1.

Mr McPartland said: “We have to help the self-employed.

“We cannot betray the very people who voted for Boris in such huge numbers when we asked them for support.”

Colleague Steve Baker said: “The Chancellor should certainly extend the SEISS in line with furlough.”

Federation of Small Businesses boss Mike Cherry said: “While employees have been given the assurances they need, time is running out for the self-employed.”

The Treasury said the SEISS was under review and pointed to Mr Sunak’s words in March when he said it could be extended “if necessary”.

Research shows the North and Midlands Red Wall, which turned from Labour to the Tories, face the worst long-term damage from the virus crisis.

The Centre for Progressive Policy think-tank said it could take a 12 per cent economic hit over five years, above the national average of eight.

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