Shield for Contractors

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Labour Party seen as “major threat” to contractors and UK PLC

LONDON - Survey shows Labour Party is seen as a major threat to the livelihoods of contractors and freelance professionals, as well as to the UK’s ability to compete in the global economy.

The results of the latest survey released today by ContractorCalculator, a leading independent website for UK freelance workers, shows that British contractors feel the Labour Government’s stance on freelance working in the UK threatens not only their own livelihoods, but also the UK’s global competitiveness.

In the wake of Labour’s hammering at the polls last month, the survey shows that:

  • 93% of those surveyed feel their livelihoods are threatened by Labour’s stance on contracting
  • 88% of contractors are dissatisfied with how Labour supports their contribution to the UK economy
  • Only 7% would vote for a Labour Government at the next election.

Dave Chaplin, CEO of the ContractorCalculator website, echoes the sentiments expressed by contractors in the survey: “Labour just don’t get it. A highly skilled, motivated and flexible workforce is the driver behind inward investment in the UK. Contractors and freelance workers in the UK have been subjected to nearly a decade of harassment by an administration that can’t seem to understand that not everyone can be pigeonholed as a permanent employee or employer,” he continues. “Contractors endure a level of scrutiny from government agencies that even MPs have rejected on privacy grounds, so it's clear that there is ‘one rule for us and one rule for them’.”

Survey respondents suggested a range of measures Labour could implement to ease the pressure on the sector, including:

  • Abolishing the IR35 tax legislation, which threatens freelancers with unfair tax claw-backs up to six years after completing an assignment
  • Reducing the paperwork burden on small businesses and providing fair access to public sector contracts
  • Stopping the taxman targeting contractors as ‘soft targets’, who are faced with the choice of paying unjust charges without complaint, or risking their very livelihoods to finance their legal defence against inappropriate investigations.

“My major concern,” says Chaplin, “is that through Labour’s obsession with taxing successful entrepreneurs to the hilt, we will lose much of the talent that makes the UK such an attractive country for overseas businesses to invest in.”

Notes to editors

ContractorCalculator a leading independent website for the UK contracting industry--most of whom are highly skilled workers in information technology, engineering, electronics, and construction.

There are close to half a million such workers in the UK today who prefer to run their own businesses and work under contract rather than become employees of specific companies. Their contribution to the economy is crucial to keeping our business competitive. Our websites have tracked this industry since 1999.

Published: 27 October 2008

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