Self-employed workers will be able to apply for a grant of up to £2,500 a month to help them cope with the financial impact of coronavirus, the chancellor has announced.
The money will be paid in a single lump sum, but will not begin to arrive until the start of June at the earliest.
Rishi Sunak told the self-employed: “You have not been forgotten.”
Plans for 80% wage subsidies for staff kept on by employers were announced last week.
The chancellor spoke after the total number of people in the UK to die with Covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, reached 475.
The government had faced criticism for failing to provide support for self-employed and freelance workers in its earlier huge package of economic measures.
Mr Sunak said the steps taken so far were “already making a difference” but it was right to go further “in the economic fight against the coronavirus”.
Self-employed people will be able to apply for a grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month.
Mr Sunak said the grants would be available to people across the UK for at least three months, and longer if necessary.
In all, 95% of people who earn most of their income as self-employed would be covered, the chancellor added.