Freelancers treated like ‘second-class citizens’

Link: Tories promise ‘fair deal’ for freelancers

A meeting is due to take place soon at which shadow ministers will formulate the party’s position with reform high on the agenda.

Mark Prisk, shadow financial secretary to the Treasury and treasurer of the all-party parliamentary small business group, said he would talk with shadow chancellor Michael Howard, and shadow secretary of state Tim Yeo, to discuss how ‘we as a party can actually get a fair deal for freelancers’.

The news follows a series of recent consultations carried out by the small business group – the biggest all-party parliamentary group, with more than 430 members.

It received more than 250 pieces of evidence from freelancers involved in different sectors.

‘Freelancers feel they are treated like second-class citizens,’ said Prisk. ‘I want to make sure the Conservative Party, when it puts its manifesto together, sets out a fair deal.’

Top of the list of priorities for both Prisk and pressure groups, such as the Professional Contractors Group and Shout99, is the government’s interpretation of S660A, the married couples tax, and IR35.

Shout99 held a S660A conference on Wednesday aimed at accountants and freelancers. It came on the back of worries that the government is set to increase its attack on family-run businesses after paymaster general Dawn Primarolo insisted there was nothing new in the legislation.

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