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Ed Milliband turns down invitation to speak to freelancers

In a move which may not endear him to the independent professionals amongst of the voting populace, the leader of the Labour Party, Ed Milliband, has turned down the opportunity to speak to the Association for Independent Professionals and the Self Employed. IPSE invited all the party leaders to take part in a special supplement […]

By Laura Nixon on 21 Apr 2015
Read time: 2 minutes

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In a move which may not endear him to the independent professionals amongst of the voting populace, the leader of the Labour Party, Ed Milliband, has turned down the opportunity to speak to the Association for Independent Professionals and the Self Employed. IPSE invited all the party leaders to take part in a special supplement they are producing, which would have provided him with the opportunity to discuss the Labour Party’s intentions when it comes to helping and supporting the growing workforce of freelancers.

Despite repeated requests to contribute to the supplement, Mr Milliband’s refusal to contribute to the publication means that there will be a nearly blank page where the Labour Party’s comments to independent professionals would otherwise have appeared. The leaders of all five major parties were invited to take the opportunity to address contractors and have their say on the issues they believe will be most important to them, but whilst David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Nicola Sturgeon, Natalie Bennet and Nigel Farage have put forward their proposals for freelancers, Ed Milliband was the only one not to take the opportunity.

After describing the rise in the number of freelancers as a symptom of a weak labour market, Ed Milliband has not won any votes amongst independent professionals by insisting that Labour’s plan to tackle tax avoidance will focus on ‘disguised self-employment’. Their plans to introduce strict tests to establish whether someone is legitimate self-employed caused significant concern amongst freelancers who are concerned that this is a reworking of an older proposal which will have a few details changed.

Specifically, there is a concern that under Ed Milliband, the Labour Party might be intending to rework a proposal that was mooted under Gordon Brown, whereby all workers would be assumed to be employed unless they were able to prove otherwise. Aimed at the construction industry, it was intended to include strict criteria to prove otherwise, such as the use of their own equipment or materials.

The lack of willingness on the part of Ed Milliband to join his fellow party leaders and speak to IPSE in order to set out his party’s plans for freelancers has been described as ‘disappointing’ by IPSE itself. They were hoping that the Bank of England’s assurance that independent professionals are choosing self-employment rather than having their hands forced, amongst other evidence suggesting that he is mistaken, would convince him that the freelance workforce is worth supporting.

If you are considering self-employment, you will know that keeping track of your finances is an important aspect of working for yourself. The best way to ensure that you are compliant with all the relevant legislation and understand everything you need to about dealing with your own tax affairs is to have a specialist freelancer accountant on hand to help you achieve your financial goals. For more information on our services, give us a call today on 01253 362062 or email us at contractoradvice@nixonwilliams.com.

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