Monday, 13 March 2017

The government has no idea what self employed people do

I've worked as a self employed person for some seven years now and it still puzzles me how some people do not understand what it is like to be self employed.

To start off, lets look at the UK Conservative government who are proposing to increase national insurance for the self employed. This (they tell us) and despite an election pledge not to increase any NI costs is because the tax discrepancy between employees and the self employed is no longer necessary. It is outdated and somehow unfair for employees. I'd like to ask in what way unfair ?

Let me re-frame the discussion.

I am delighted to pay for more NI. I'm looking forward to starting to receive the following :

paid leave
paid bank holidays
statutory sick pay
work place pension
minimum weekly hours
minimum wage

Until such time as those things are made available to those of us small business people and entrepreneurs who form the back bone of the economy then we damn well should be paying less in tax.

Now before I get complaints that NI is actually for the NHS and other social benefits I would say. That's nonsense. No tax in the UK is hypothecated any longer - NI is just another tax.

I also get frustrated by employees who work for companies who seem to (often deliberately) misunderstand what being self employed is all about. Let's put it like this. If I don't get out of bed on a morning I don't get to earn any money. If I don't do the work, all of the work then it doesn't get done and again I don't get paid. Employees have the luxury (within reason) of allowing the work to expand to fill the time available and they still get paid their salary. The self employed do not have that luxury and each extra soul destroying piece of admin we are required to conform to simply adds more and more unproductive time to our day.

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