Self employed 'crucial to the economy'

Thursday 16 July 2015

Ministers in government have been urged to do more to support the self-employment sector, which has been hailed as being crucial to the economy in the UK. 

It comes as news of a fall in the number of self-employed people in the UK in the past year was announced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

The ONS said that in the past 12 months, the number of people who were working on a self-employed basis fell by 131,000. The overall figure still sits at a very healthy level of some 4.47 million, and it is thought that the drop is more to do with the stabilising of the current crop of freelancers, experts have still called for more to be done to attract new people into contracting. 

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) said that the government should make sure it is doing more moving forward to show people that this is the way forward, highlighting how crucial self employment can be to it meeting its targets. 

The government has said that in the next few years it wants to add some two million jobs around the UK to bring the unemployment figures even lower than their current strong position. IPSE believes that the vast majority of these new positions will be filled through the increasingly popular self-employment sector. 

“This sector is absolutely crucial to the economic success of the UK, and Government should consider ways it can better support people who work for themselves," said Chris Bryce, IPSE's chief executive. 

He urged the government to re-evaluate the announcements that were made in last week's Budget announcement, which many contractors have said will damage their income somewhat by presenting them with higher taxes than they have faced in recent times. These changes would be detrimental at a time when specialists in IT, technology and online marketing in particular are becoming highly sought in freelance roles by companies across the UK.

By Victoria McDonnell

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