Party conference round-up

10/09/2015 - 14:09

Self-employed contractors and umbrella PAYE employees had lots of reasons to cheer at this year’s party conferences.  We’ve highlighted some of the most important points that could affect our clients. 

As the party in government, what came out of the Conservative camp in Manchester will have the most immediate impact for our contractors.

David Cameron announced a relaxation of planning rules in an attempt to boost home ownership. Under the plans, builders would no longer be required to offer low-cost ‘affordable’ homes as part of new developments. More building work is always welcomed by construction contractors whether they are self-employed or PAYE.  

The construction industry also received some good news from Chancellor and party leadership hopeful George Osborne.

He laid out a four point plan to ‘get Britain building’ again. His plans include:

  • Changes to the planning rules on brownfield sites.
  • The pooling of local authority pension pots with several British Wealth Funds to generate extra investment for infrastructure projects.
  • The creation of a new independent National Infrastructure Commission, chaired by Lord Adonis. 

In a move to decentralise more powers from Westminster, the Chancellor said that local authorities will get the power to set and keep their business rates. If successful, this policy could mean more localised government spending and variations in the tax rate paid by business owners.

The theory goes that by lowering the local rate of business tax, local councils will be able to attract new businesses to their area. 

Osborne’s leadership rival Theresa May used her platform to talk about immigration. She pledged tougher immigration controls, which could have an impact on the British labour market.

Her policy ideas could prove to be a double-edged sword for self-employed contractors.

On one hand, restricting the flow of migrants in Britain could make skilled contractors more valuable in a competitive jobs market. That said, if you own your own business, you might find it difficult to find employees with the right skills set – especially in the IT and technology sectors.

On the other side of the political aisle, Jeremy Corbyn also laid out an appeal to self-employed workers. Speaking at his first conference as Labour leader, Corbyn pledged to give Britain’s contractors and other independent workers the rights to maternity, paternity and sick pay.

Previously, as part of his leadership bid, Mr Corbyn set out a range of  ‘Better Business’ proposals designed to bridge the gap between small and large businesses.