I never thought this day would come but it’s here: the Treasury wants the input of freelancers and umbrella company contractors ahead of the Autumn Statement.
I swear I’m not pulling your leg on this one. It’s bona fide and true – the Treasury is soliciting policy ideas from now until 17 October, and freelance personnel are invited to take part in this new programme. The best of the best of these suggestions may end up playing a crucial role in chancellor George Osborne’s 3 December Autumn Statement delivery.
Now I know what some of you more cynical blokes are thinking right now, and that’s that the chancellor of the exchequer has finally given up trying to even maintain the slightest pretense of competency and is instead just farming out the job of managing the British economy to anyone with the time and inclination to write a few emails. Well while it may seem easy enough to simply dismiss this new open-door policy as an inability for the Treasury to think up solutions on its own I’d like to err on the side of optimism here and say that this is just the first step in incorporating more transparency and increasing access to policy decisions for the general public, especially for people who traditionally haven’t had a voice in government such as freelance workers and contractors.
In other words, this is your chance to finally be heard when it comes to the Government and its sometimes completely inscrutable and plainly maddening decisions and its regulatory behaviour. I don’t know if this is going to be a constant thing going forward, this invitation to actually be part of the policymaking process, but it’s one that’s too good to pass up. Normally this kind of thing is only reserved for high-powered multinationals that can pay to have a few ministers or MPs in their back pockets, but with this new initiative finally perhaps there can be some egalitarianism coming back into the entire process.
Or I could be completely and totally wrong and this could just be a bit of a red herring, some smoke and mirrors to placate people into thinking the Treasury actually cares about the little guy. I suppose that’s just my own paranoia though. Well, hope for the best and prepare for the worst, that’s what my mum always told me!