A MARKET trader and councillor has criticised the government's new scheme to help the self-employed through the coronavirus crisis.

Last week Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the framework which will see most self-employed people receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least three months.

But Pendle Labour councillor Eileen Ansar who represents Clover Hill ward in Nelson said that many self-employed people could not wait for the predicted first payments in June.

She said: ''A lot of self-employed people will run out of money and go bust by then.

''They just cannot wait that long.

''And those who have been self-employed for less than 12 months will get nothing and have to apply for universal credit. It's just no good enough.

''The government needs to look at it again and improve it.

''They pushed a lot of people into self-employment and now they have left them high and dry.''

But Blackburn with Darwen Council deputy leader Cllr Phil Riley has given a cautious welcome to the new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

It will see those eligible receiving a cash grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. This covers 95per cent of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment.

Cllr Riley said: ''We understand just how worrying this situation is at the moment and people who are self-employed have faced quite a bit of uncertainty as businesses have been closed. This new scheme should bring a measure of support and help the majority people in the borough who work for themselves to access these grants.”