#5millionvotes are up for grabs: IPSE launch election manifesto

IPSE has today launched its manifesto ahead of the General Election, calling for a range of new policies to support the UK’s booming self-employed workforce.

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Since 2008 there has been a 35 per cent increase in the number of self-employed people and they are now 15 per cent of the workforce. On current trends, there will be well over 5 million freelancers by the end of the next Parliament. The UK’s solo self-employed also contribute £305bn to the economy – underlining their vital importance to the economy.

Entitled 5 Million Votes: how to win the support of the self-employed, the manifesto makes forty recommendations across four areas – Brexit, finances, business environment and rights and support – so that the next government can keep up with the rapidly changing workforce.

Key policies include a call for a fundamental review of self-employed and small business taxation, new powers for the Small Business Commissioner to crack down on late payment and rates relief for turning empty premises into co-working spaces to revitalise Britain’s high streets.

Join the campaign

IPSE is also calling on its members and the wider freelance community to use the hashtag ‘#5millionvotes’ to spread the word about the importance of the self-employed during the campaign.

Simon McVicker, IPSE Director of Policy and External Affairs, said: “This will be a hugely important election for the country. It is therefore vital that all political parties remember that, regardless of Brexit, there are 5 million votes out there from the UK’s self-employed that are up for grabs.

“From building a modern tax system to ending the culture of late payment and boosting the number of co-working spaces, we believe all parties should be listening to needs of the self-employed and outlining policies that will make a difference to them.

“The self-employed could prove decisive in dozens of marginal constituencies across the UK. All parties would do well to remember this and IPSE will be working hard during the campaign to get the message out there.”

5 policies for the self-employed

IPSE’s top five policy priorities to win the support of the self-employed are to:

  • Build a modern tax system: Our outdated, overly complex tax system needs updating for self-employment in the 21st Century. We recommend a full, wide-ranging review of small business tax, scrapping IR35 and ending confusion over the Loan Charge to unleash the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit.
  • End the culture of late payment: The next government should fast-track plans to strengthen the role of the Small Business Commissioner by giving him powers to fine and ‘name and shame’ late payers. This would put an end to the time and money freelancers lose every year on chasing unpaid invoices.
  • Identify solutions for saving in later life: Prevent a self-employed savings crisis by working with industry to find tailored products for freelancers, such as the sidecar pension, to help them put money away for retirement.
  • Update freelancers’ parental rights: Extend Shared Parental Leave (SPL) to the self-employed and take action on maternity/paternity pay, so that parents have equal opportunities to care for their children – and build their own business.
  • Incentivise workhubs to boost the high street: Co-working spaces incubate small businesses, innovation and collaboration at the heart of communities - incentivising the use of empty premises for workhubs through exemptions in business rates could help revive Britain’s struggling high streets.

Read the manifesto

Read the pamphlet version of the IPSE manifesto below. An extended version of the manifesto will be available shortly.


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IPSE is the leading association for contractors, consultants, interims, freelancers and the self-employed. We strive to bring our members the most comprehensive and useful range of information and services and all the latest news about what affects your business.