Efforts to secure immediate financial support for the self-employed facing the prospect of being wiped out by the impact of coronavirus have been stepped up in the corridors of power.

Members of the Liberal Democrat party in the House of Lords are set to put down amendments to the Coronavirus Bill that would include a Self-Employed Income Guarantee.

The guarantee would see the Government provide self-employed people with 80 per cent of their average income over the past three years if they found themselves out of work and out of pocket due to the pandemic.

Last week the Government announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will see the Government pay 80 per cent of the wages – up to the value of £2,500 a month – for people employed directly by businesses and organisations.

The scheme has roundly welcomed by experts who say struggling businesses now have a “viable alternative to redundancy”. The scheme allows businesses to reduce their wage bill by putting workers on furlough leave until they are able to take them back on again.

While the scheme has been hailed as having stopped mass jobs losses and a severe recession, the self-employed have been left dangling when it comes to a similar level of support.

At present the offer of £94 a week through statutory sick pay, has been branded wholly inadequate.

Speculation grew throughout Tuesday that Chancellor Rishi Sunak would announce measures specifically for the self-employed, but they failed to materialise in the Government’s daily media briefing.

The Government is understood to be struggling with technical aspects of the support it can offer.

As well as working with Liberal Democrat peers on the Bill amendment, Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has also tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling for the same measures.

Mr Farron – who is himself self-isolating after a member of his family showed symptoms of covid-19 – said there were around 11,000 self-employed people in the South Lakes – accounting to one in four people.

“The Government has taken swift and welcome action to support businesses and employees,” he said.

“Now we need to see a similar package of support for the self-employed who are in real stress at this difficult time. 

“One in four people in the South Lakes are self-employed. They are the backbone of our economy- let's make sure they don't get left behind.”

The desperate situation facing the self-employed has been highlighted by hospitality consultant Alison Magee-Barker, who saw her business “wiped out” overnight due to the escalating coronavirus crisis.

With hospitality operators closing down in an effort to help curb the spread of the virus, she is continuing to advice some business for free while home schooling two children – another challenge facing many workers after the Government closed all schools last week.

Alison said she is having to draw on savings to keep going, adding: “£94 a week, with all due respect, isn't going to feed my kids.”

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has also demanded the creation of a Temporary Income Protection Fund, providing grants to replace a proportion of the income lost by freelancers.

IPSE’s director of policy Andy Chamberlain, described the situation for the self-employed as “drastic and grave”.

“Instead of supporting freelancers to help them keep their businesses going, it (the Government) is pushing the self-employed into the benefits system.”