Self-employed workers ‘politically homeless’, as 6 in 10 do not have faith in any party 

Self-employed workers ‘politically homeless’, as 6 in 10 do not have faith in any party 

22 Feb    Finance News, Opinion

Nearly two in three self-employed people do not believe any of the main political parties represent their best interests.

As the end of this government’s parliamentary term approaches, the major political parties are preparing for a general election, due no later than January 2025.

But while politicians get on the war footing, the independent workforce is unsure that any of the mainstream parties represent their best interests.

This is according to Qdos, a business and tax insurance provider for the self-employed. Its annual survey explores the key issues facing flexible workers, and the findings offer food for thought for politicians across the spectrum.

The key finding is that almost two-thirds of the nearly 900 self-employed workers surveyed feel none of the major political parties represent their best interests.

Just 11.1% believe the Conservative party does, and 9.4% believe Labour does. Also surveyed on voting intention, 23.9% of self-employed plan to vote for Labour, compared to just 14.8% for the Conservatives. 18.7% plan to abstain from voting altogether.

Following years of tax hikes – and frozen tax bands that have forced these workers to pay more tax through fiscal drag – it is easy to understand why this crucial group of voters feels politically homeless, say Qdos.

The survey findings also offer insight into what politicians could do to restore faith and win support from the self-employed.

Two-thirds want IR35 reform reversed, and a fifth would like to see Corporation Tax reduced to its previous rate. Others want to see the umbrella sector regulated.

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Understanding the needs of these workers, and delivering policies to meet them, will be crucial for politicians ahead of the looming general election. Commenting on the news, Qdos CEO, Seb Maley, said: “Over the past decade, government policies and tax changes have hit self-employed workers incredibly hard. Relentless tax freezes and hikes are suffocating the UK’s flexible workforce.

“The result is that a huge number of the self-employed don’t see that any of the mainstream political parties represent their best interests. Many feel politically homeless – and really, who can blame them?

“But actually, it’s pretty clear what an incoming government needs to do to get the self-employed on-side. Give these workers the incentive to continue providing the flexibility the country and the economy need – don’t treat them as a cash cow.

“This is an open goal for politicians, and a massive opportunity to win millions of votes – provided they take these concerns seriously.”

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