By Lynne Gowers on 16th September 2014

IPSE aims to transform UK into ‘microbusiness utopia’

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) has released its manifesto, detailing how it is aiming to transform the UK into a ‘microbusiness utopia’.

The manifesto set out the measures it feels need to be put in place in order to provide adequate support to the increasing number of self-employed people living and working in the UK.

Simon McVicker, director of policy and external affairs at IPSE, commented: There are now almost five million self-employed people working in the UK which means 15 per cent of our workforce are now choosing to earn their living in this way.

The choice to become your own boss is a brave one, and we should be supporting those who take control of their own destiny. In our manifesto we outline the measures government needs to take in 2015 and beyond to unleash the full potential of Britain’s independent professionals.…

The first step, Mr McVicker noted, should be to appoint a minister for self-employment. While there is already a minister for small business, those who are self-employed are lacking this type of representation in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Speaking at the Westminster launch of the IPSE Manifesto – September 2014, the expert also underlined the number of women opting for self-employment, and noted that it is important this rise be supported.

He noted that the number of mothers working for themselves has increased by an impressive 55 per cent in just the last five years, and urged the main political parties to re-examine how the self-employed are treated with regard to maternity and paternity benefits.

There’s absolutely no reason why hard-working self-employed mothers should receive a different amount to employees when caring for a child,… he said.

As well as taking extra steps to back the growth of women in self-employment, the government should do more to support young people who want to work for themselves, he said.

The biggest growth area in self-employment is among people aged between 18 and 30 years old, but self-employment and entrepreneurship is still overlooked on the curriculum at secondary and sixth-form level,… he commented.

According to Mr McVicker, one of the biggest issues affecting the self-employed and micro-businesses is late payments from clients. He called for the next government to strengthen the Prompt Payment Code and name and shame the worst offenders.

It was also noted that self-employed people need affordable, flexible office space in which to flourish. Work-hubs and co-working spaces are growing in popularity among self-employed people in the UK, who greatly benefit from affordable offices that allow them to network, it was noted.

Mr McVicker said: We urge politicians to incentivise local government to repurpose empty council properties into new workhubs and simplify the planning system to allow unused commercial properties to change their use and regenerate the high street.…

A tax system for the an economy driven by innovation should also be introduced, he said, with the the current system often been slammed for the way it deals with the self-employed.

Don’t forget, as a Boox client you can receive discount membership from our association with IPSE as part of their accredited accountant scheme.

Written by Lynne Gowers
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