The debate was triggered by a petition on the parliament website that got over 100,000 signatures and it’s a subject I feel very strongly about so seized the opportunity to challenge ministers on it.
Having been self employed myself and also co-founded a small local business, I described to ministers and MP’s exactly what it’s like – the exhilaration and freedom but also the terror as month-end arrives, the periods of time far outside of your comfort zone, the long hours, and the sense of responsibility you have to others as your business grows.
I also drew upon the analysis I got from a recent visit to Crunch Accounting which is a local Hove business. I visited them last week and as they provide services to self-employed people and micro-businesses they have lots of hard data that I could throw at ministers.
I have policy suggestions for ministers to help people who are self-employed. For example, most people who are self-employed don’t invest in professional development and we need them to. Government could play a role in that and I believe it would help with our nations productivity too. Secondly, the shift towards taxing people’s dividend is right, but the way George Osbourne is doing it will hit people on middle income the hardest and those on high incomes the least, this is simply unfair and bad for our economy.
4.5 million of us are self-employed, that’s 15% of our workforce. Yet in the government’s ‘productivity plan’ there was not one mention. I believe people who are self-employed or running micro-businesses are totally ignored by this government and it’s become my mission to make them listen.