Following a BBC story out today (Feb 14th 2017) in which Matthew Taylor suggests that self-employment ‘reduces tax take to the Exchequer’ the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association is keen to step in and urge Mr Taylor and the Government to take a considered approach to any new measures ahead of the Budget in March. Whilst FCSA supports any legislation to stamp out false self-employment and exploitation by unscrupulous employers FCSA would urge policy makers to recognise, not penalise, the 4.8m self-employed workers who carry out a diverse range of jobs for a diverse range of earnings across all sectors, from doctors and teachers to shopkeepers. FCSA believes that any policy changes intended to tackle one particular group is likely to have unintended consequences across a raft of professions and sectors.
Julia Kermode, chief executive of the FCSA, the UK’s largest trade association whose members provide professional support services to some 120,000 freelancers and contractors said: “Today’s story suggests the possibility of new measures that will affect the self-employed being announced in the Chancellor’s Budget on March 8th so I would urge the Government to wait for the full outcome of Matthew Taylor’s review that is due in the summer and avoid any kneejerk reaction that would once again result in rushing through legislation that could have serious negative implications. We have seen a raft of recent tax policy changes that have penalised the self-employed, leaving them financially worse off and under-valued by a Government that claims to recognise the economic importance of the flexible workforce. Current policy direction seems to imply that permanent employment is somehow preferable to other ways of working which contradicts the current face of the labour market and the choices that people are making.