What do the UK’s self-employed workers need to see from the new PM?

Mike Parkes, technical director at GoSimpleTax, said:  

“As Liz Truss has pulled away from Rishi Sunak in the leadership race, she has also forged ahead with the support and spotlight she’s placed on the UK’s self-employed and small businesses, pledging a “small business and self-employed revolution” because they are “the future of our economy”.

“With the UK tax take at a 70-year high, the leadership candidates’ debates have focussed on tax cuts and Truss has highlighted current self-employed tax rules as unfair, saying they force genuinely self-employed tradesmen, like electricians and plumbers, to pay too much. If she gets into No10, Liz Truss has promised a review into IR35. A review, of course, does not mean there will be any updates, but according to our data, genuinely self-employed people would welcome lower taxes amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

“A GoSimpleTax survey of 500 self-employed people found 27% of people said lower taxes was their top ask of the Government. Ahead of a potential emergency budget, GoSimpleTax research has highlighted the areas freelancers and self-employed want policymakers to place their attention.

  1. Tax simplification and clarity on making tax digital
  2. Lower taxes
  3. Targeted grant support
  4. IR35 review
  5. Reduction of red tape and associated costs in comparison to larger businesses – for example, lower costs around DBS checks for self-employed
  6. Enhanced financial support when facing illness or hospital treatment
  7. Targeted reduction in lowering customs duties for self-employed and small businesses
  8. Business rates reform.

“Over 2020, the number of self-employed people in the UK dropped from around five million to nearly four million and more than 10% of people we surveyed said they wouldn’t be in self-employment in 12 months or were not sure they could be. With a squeeze on costs and indicators pointing towards a recession, there’s a significant opportunity for a new leader to set out their support at an emergency budget and beyond.”

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