The UK economy has managed to emerge from the recession, partly thanks to successful government measures. The focus now should be on making growth sustainable through favourable regulatory and tax regimes, with the government going the extra mile to ensure that freelancers and small firms get better support, according to PCG chairman Julie Stewart.
Stewart has listed the main concerns of the professional contractors’ association in a letter addressed to Chancellor George Osborne, urging the government to factor in more support for the smallest UK businesses in the upcoming Budget. Among the measures proposed by the PCG are further action to tackle late payments, which is a problem with serious consequences for independent professionals.
“The current system makes it almost impossible for freelancers to hold clients accountable for late payments…”
The current system makes it almost impossible for freelancers to hold clients accountable for late payments without jeopardising the working relationship in the process, Stewart noted. It is within the Treasury’s power to put in place adequate measures, especially in the public sector. The PCG is also urging the government to make access to the latest communications infrastructure affordable for independent contractors and to consider scrapping or lowering business rates on “workhubs” – the collaborative working premises that have become popular with freelancers.
One of the biggest concerns harboured by the PCG has to do with the proposed legislative changes affecting onshore employment intermediaries. The organisation is hoping that the final version of the legislation will not put an extra burden on limited company contractors. According to Stewart, the government should leave freelancers out of its plans and seriously consider delaying implementation so that businesses have sufficient time to adapt to the changes.