Tax-free training for self-employed can help intergenerational divide

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The government should extend tax-free training options to the self-employed to encourage greater intergenerational equality, IPSE today said.

At present, the self-employed, unlike employees, are not entitled to tax relief for training in new skills. 

IPSE’s call follows the release of the final report of the Intergenerational Commission, released today, which highlighted that younger people were more likely to be self-employed if they did not hold a degree.

Chris Bryce, IPSE CEO, commented: “The report released today confirms what IPSE has been saying for some time: the extraordinary rise of the self-employed since 2000 represents a structural, not cyclical, shift in the UK.

“However, with close to 4.8 million people now choosing to work for themselves, the Government’s training and skills policy is increasingly out of touch with the way people work.

“One of the biggest barriers to self-employed people improving their circumstances is poor access to training. Extending tax relief for training to the self-employed will help younger self-employed people gain skills to enable them to progress in their careers. It will also ensure that the UK can extract maximum benefit from its flexible labour market.”

IPSE welcomed the Government’s announcement in March that it was conducting a consultation on the taxation of self-funded work-related training. The consultation closes on 8 June 2018.