The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has called for more Government help for the self-employed, claiming the latest HMRC statistics show "devastating" gaps in support.

Official figures show that by 31 July 2020, more than 5 million people reported self-employment income for 2018/19 and were assessed for eligibility under the self-employment income support scheme (SEISS).

Of these, 3.4 million individuals were eligible, but around 1.6 million – 32% of those assessed – did not meet the scheme's criteria.

Derek Cribb, CEO of IPSE, said:

"The August SEISS statistics are a reminder that although the scheme continues to help a large proportion of the self-employed, over a million freelancers - including directors of limited companies and the newly self-employed - are not eligible for it.

"This is a stark omission that is devastating to hard working self-employed people across the UK."

The main reason individuals were deemed ineligible was that their trading profits were less than their non-trading profits, such as employment or investment income, with 88% of people falling under this category.

Around 33% of those who were ineligible had trading profits of £0 or had made a loss, while 11% had trading profits over £50,000.

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