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Contractors gain some certainty as the Scottish referendum rejects independence

Contractors with contracts and clients based in Scotland can continue to trade as normal following the result of the Scottish referendum, which has rejected independence and voted to stay part of the UK by a margin of approximately 55% No to independence to 45% Yes.

However, plans to devolve greater powers to the Scottish Parliament announced before the referendum could mean that contractors with contracts in Scotland may be subject to a different taxation regime and other legislation.

“The key outcome for contractors from this ‘No’ vote is business continuity and stability,” believes ContractorCalculator CEO Dave Chaplin. “Scotland includes some of the most important contracting centres of excellence and the knowledge that these leading edge and vibrant contractor communities will continue to be part of the UK is hugely positive.”

In Aberdeen’s oil and gas community and Edinburgh’s financial sector the ‘No’ vote against independence for Scotland was 58.61% and 61.10% respectively. Dundee’s video games centre voted 57.35% in favour of independence.

According to IPSE's director of policy and external affairs Simon McVicker, the process has been inspiring and could lead to benefits for all contractors throughout the UK: “The political engagement and the subsequent huge turnout in the Scottish Independence Referendum was inspiring to all of us who watched. We hope now that Scotland gets its new settlement and is able to proceed as a truly innovative and entrepreneurial country.

"The political engagement and the subsequent huge turnout in the Scottish Independence Referendum was inspiring to all of us who watched. We hope now that Scotland gets its new settlement and is able to proceed as a truly innovative and entrepreneurial country. Representing those who choose to go it alone in business means we understand more than most why it is so important to people that they have control of their own destiny. We also understand the value of working with others and the importance strong ties with key partners are to prosperity and success."

Managing director of contracting services provider Optionis, parent company of umbrella Parasol and contractor accountant ClearSky, Derek Kelly highlights that the rejection of independence by Scottish voters is good news for contractors across the UK: "I think contractors and freelancers will breathe a collective sigh of relief following this morning’s result.There were many questions around tax, regulation and trade that the SNP and pro-independence lobby failed to answer.

"Prior to the poll, there were suggestions in some quarters that a ‘yes’ vote would boost demand for IT contractors due to the creation of new government bodies and systems north of the border. However, in my view any short-term boost would have been far outweighed by the long-term damage to Scotland’s economy and key industries, such as financial services and North Sea oil and gas."

McVicker continues: “The manifesto we launched last week contains a host of measures designed to help Government unlock the staggering potential of Britain’s self-employed. These measures are just as applicable to the Government in Edinburgh as to the one in Westminster, we will embark in dialogue with both.

“Policy makers in Holyrood and Westminster should take this opportunity to build a better environment for the growing number of self-employed people working across the UK. Their importance to the economy has never been greater than it is today.”

Published: 19 September 2014

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