UK to detail coronavirus aid for self-employed on Thursday

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak attends a news conference on the ongoing situation with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London, Britain March 20, 2020. Julian Simmonds/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British finance minister Rishi Sunak will say on Thursday how he will help self-employed workers who risk losing income during a near shutdown of the economy by the government as it tries to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Sunak last week took the historic step of announcing the British state would pay 80% of the salaries of employed people - capped at 2,500 pounds a month - for at least three months in a bid to reduce an expected jump in unemployment.

A spokesman for Johnson said Sunak would set out details of a support package for the self-employed on Thursday.

There are around 5 million self-employed people in Britain - compared with roughly 28 million employees - and some have said they have had no choice to keep working, despite government advice to stay at home.

Reporting by Kate Holton, writing by William Schomberg and David Milliken; editing by Estelle Shirbon