Summary

  • There are around 273,000 self-employed workers in Scotland and they form a vital part of the flexible economy. There are now 91,000 self-employed women in Scotland; an increase of 20% over the last 6 years
  • Many of these individuals work in Scotland’s oil and gas sector, providing vital specialist skills
  • Following the independence referendum in 2014, it now appears inevitable that the Scottish Parliament will be given more powers in the future. Scottish politicians will soon have a unique opportunity to ensure that policy is in place which makes it easy to both become self-employed and to be self-employed – action around infrastructure, regulation and tax is clearly needed. Doing so will secure a bright economic future for the self-employed both North and South of the border.
  • IPSE is committed to engaging with policymakers in Holyrood to guarantee that new legislation supports independent professionals working in Scotland

What are the issues?

1. Devolution of power:

  • Many important decisions affecting freelancers may now be made in Holyrood, rather than Westminster, following the 2015 general election and the implementation of the recommendations of the Smith Commission
  • IPSE’s has always enjoyed a close relationship with Scottish institutions and policymakers, and this relationship is likely to become much more important in the future.
     

2. Declining oil & gas sector:

  • Falling global commodity prices have created significant difficulties in the North Sea oil & gas sectors
  • A high number of independent professionals work in these sectors, who have experienced falling day rates in recent months
  • IPSE is monitoring this situation closely, and is working with policymakers to ensure that the future success of this industry is not threatened by current low commodity prices


IPSE’s policy on Scotland

  • IPSE engages with Scottish MPs and MSPs who have interest in freelancing/small businesses
  • We are continuing to develop links with policymakers in Holyrood to ensure policy around devolved issues supports independent professionals

Oil & Gas

  • IPSE will continue to lobby the  Chancellor and the Scottish Government for support for North Sea oil and gas sectors
  • IPSE will set out case for continuing investment in sector, and resultant economic growth & energy security this will help deliver
  • IPSE has also produced a “Scottish Manifesto” setting out the priorities for politicians in Scotland