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OECD calls for self-employed tax hike
marketing | 24 October 2017
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Calls from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to revive plans for a self-employment tax hike have been met with scorn and confusion from self-employment pressure groups.

The last budget, delivered before the general election in June, included plans to increase National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for self-employed workers.

But in an embarrassing U-turn the Chancellor was forced to drop the tax hike when MPs pointed out that it contravened a 2015 election promise not to increase VAT, NICs or income tax.

Following last week’s Autumn Statement the government’s position on public sector IR35 reform is clear. But Britain’s judges could block the plans if they are shown to contradict employment law.

Set to be introduced in April 2017, the public sector IR35 reforms will lead to many public sector contractors losing some of their take home pay and the changes could have some nasty unintended consequences for public services too.
 

Chancellor urged to write a small business friendly budget

Two organisations representing the interests of small business owners and self-employed workers have urged the Chancellor to deliver a budget that backs enterprise on Wednesday.

George Osborne, they argue, has to recognise the impact that small businesses have on the economy in terms of driving growth and creating jobs.

At a time when tax and pension changes are making things difficult for business owners, it is crucial that the Budget statement sends a strong signal to small businesses.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) used its pre-budget statement to urge the Chancellor to reform business rates and simplify the tax system. 

Majority of contractors want to stay in EU

A survey has found that a majority of UK contractors would vote to stay in the European Union (EU) if a membership vote were held tomorrow.

The research, which was published by The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) last week, found that 61 percent of contractors want Britain to remain a part of the EU.

This majority outweighs the 24 percent who would vote to leave and the 14 percent who were undecided. 

Proposed expenses cuts could cost contractors
marketing | 14 October 2015
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New research has found that proposed changes to contractors' travel and subsistence allowances could cost them up to 20 per cent of their annual revenue. 

In July of last year the government launched a review into expenses and benefits for contractors. On 23 September 2014 they published a discussion paper outlining their case for changing the current rules on tax relief.

The government believes that travel and subsistence expenses, like travel between workplaces and the cost of a meal at a temporary workplace, are over generous and outdated. 

Contractor confidence slips to record low
marketing | 7 September 2017
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The latest Freelancer Confidence Index, measured by the Association for Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), has shown the poorest outlook on record in the second quarter of 2017.

Despite a continuation of high day rates for contractors, the survey showed that only 19% of freelancers were confident about how their business would perform over the next year. This was down a whopping 9% on Q1 2017. 

Bad reaction to public sector IR35 proposal
marketing | 22 August 2016
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Industry insiders have responded negatively to a consultation on the government’s latest IR35 proposal.

The proposal would see public sector organisations made responsible for determining the IR35 status of a contractor. Practically, this means that many more Personal Service Company contractors will be caught out by the IR35 legislation.

The contractors would be forced to pay tax as if they were traditional full-time employees, without enjoying any of the same employment rights and benefits.

Many inside and outside the industry see this as unfair. There is also a large amount of concern about some of the proposal’s unintended consequences.

The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA) warned against leaving the decision to parties that will struggle to make an accurate IR35 assessment. 

Government blamed for contractor confidence crisis

An index measuring contractor confidence has dropped significantly in the third quarter of 2015, with government attitudes towards contracting the apparent root cause.

The Freelancer Confidence Index which is conducted by The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) has recorded a significant decline in the latter parts of 2015.

The index score measuring contractor’s business prospects has dropped negative for the first time ever. 

Deflation and lower fuel costs are good news for contractors
marketing | 19 October 2015
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The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has welcomed news of deflation in the UK economy.

Last week, the consumer price index figures for September showed that prices had dropped by 0.1%. This news was welcomed by IPSE which said that lower prices and rising incomes were making freelancers and other self-employed people better off.  

While deflation is treated cautiously by some economists and politicians, lower consumer prices and, in particular, lower transport costs will directly benefit contractors. 

David Morris

Finally the UK’s growing army of freelancers and contractors will have a presence at the heart of Government. At least, that is the vision behind the role of MP David Morris. The Conservative MP for Morecambe and Lunsdale has job of ‘tsar’, or ‘ambassador’, to the UK Government on behalf of some 4.5million independent UK workers.

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