New government positive for Contractors
It seems that the new Conservative/Lib Dem coalition could be extremely good news for contractors and freelancers. George Osborne, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Vince Cable, the new Business Secretary are already to be issuing messages about taxation which seem fairer than in the past – giving a genuine reason for optimism that tax legislation could be about to become more supportive for contractors.
It was widely agreed that the outgoing Government did not understand the flexible workforce and failed to recognise its value, often seeing contractors simply as one of the many different types of temporary workers, which covered everything from low paid, low skilled ‘temps’ who to highly skilled, highly paid self-employed professionals. This resulted in many instances of badly put together ‘one size fits all’ legislation which failed to protect vulnerable temps at one end of the scale and yet also failed to support and encourage entrepreneurial contractors at the other end!
The new Government gives the UK a great opportunity to look at the contractor and freelancer workforce in a new light, and to more fully understand its value – and its diversity. Policy makers now have the opportunity to focus on contractors and to develop an appropriate framework of new legislation. So, although the new Government has yet to publish detailed proposals, it is certainly appropriate for contractors and freelancers to be optimistic!
Meanwhile, the PCG is also sounding optimistic that the new Government will bring hope to contractors. Managing Director John Brazier said: “We are obviously in uncharted waters. However, PCG has established a good working relationship with both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats in Opposition, and we are confident this will continue in Government. Both parties have expressed the need for change . . . and both parties value the flexible, skilled workforce PCG members provide.”
Lastly, Phil Orford, Chief Executive of the Forum of Private Business commented, “Smaller firms urgently need some degree of certainty so they can begin to plan for the future. Hopefully, Mr Cameron’s appointment will herald the beginning of a workable government which will ensure economic stability and give smaller firms the confidence to aspire and grow.”