Doors are opening to self-employed opportunity in Whitehall

Doors are opening to self-employed opportunity in Whitehall

Julie Deane is one of the thousands of Kitchen Table Tycoons who contribute £4.4bn to the UK economy. The government has appointed her to review how it can better support the UK’s self-employed populace.

Then later this month, the government has invited Graham Fisher, the FCSA chair, to a post-budget debriefing. Things are looking up!

Credit where it’s (long over)due

It seems that the government has at last acknowledged the value that solopreneurs add to the economy. Instead of writing laws based on the assumption that all self-employed people are tax-dodgers, HM Govt is instead extending invites to the discussion table.

All manner of people have contributed to the UK’s economic turnaround:

  • stay-at-home moms launching their own business;
  • IT contractors working on hi-tech infrastructures in the City;
  • sole traders and freelancers finding their feet as they begin the journey to independence.

It doesn’t matter what their service, they’ve all stated their intent. Everyone who starts their own business believes that they have the skill to deliver a service that other people need.

Often, it’s felt as if the government has berated them for their guile. Crackdown on this, remove benefit/relief that. The latter is especially true following the Autumn Statement, when the Chancellor announced that he was revoking umbrella workers’ travel and subsistence benefits.

So what’s brought about this turnaround in fortunes?

The government is the first to tell the world that the UK has the highest number of people in employment ever. What they may not have realised until now is the size of the freelance/temp/contractor contribution to those ranks.

The aforementioned FCSA’s research points to as many as 20% of everyone in that ’employed’ bracket working on a temporary contract of some sort. The government needs to show that it cares and values their contribution, whether it be through:

  • a recruitment agency;
  • digital freelance website;
  • direct through a limited company;
  • or via a third party PSC or Umbrella company, .

The signals emitted from the Conservative manifesto for small businesses were positive. It’s not taken Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne long to deliver on those pledges.

With the appointment of Julie Deane, the Prime Minister’s hoping her first hand review will “shine a light on self-employment”. Acknowledging its part in the Conservatives’ economic strategy, he’s keen to support the UK’s self employed workforce. Moreover, address the challenges and issues they face.

We’ll have to wait until early 2016 for the review’s official report. Graham Fisher’s appointment with the Chancellor is somewhat sooner. His invitation is for July 9th, immediately after next week’s budget. Fingers crossed for a positive outcome from both camps.

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