LFIG have published their new report entitled 'The Freelancing Agenda' this article explains the reasoning behind the report and the need for Labour to focus on the self employed as well as small business.
Labour must be the party both of and for the self employed and small business if it is to win the next election. It is on strong ground as it has an excellent Labour Business team who are widely respected. Labour’s grassroots are being filled with those who run their own businesses, work as self employed or as freelance. It is growing to become a key constituency both within the Labour party and within society.
In March 2013, Labour’s Small Business Task Force report, ‘An Enterprising Nation’, made recommendations to the Labour Party for policies to help small businesses. The report looked in part at freelancing and self-employment, and suggested that ‘greater clarity around the distinction between genuine freelancing and false self-employment is required to enable small businesses to use freelancers legitimately’.
The publication of our report entitled ‘The Freelancing Agenda’, commissioned by the Labour Finance and Industry Group, comes partly in response to that. It offers a set of principles, in the form of a Charter, and some specific policy recommendations, including a new definition of freelancing for tax and other purposes, that can help Labour to update its policies for this constituency, by enhancing, not compromising, the party’s core values. Labour needs to offer both a small business agenda and also one for the self employed too.
Last week Demos published a report in this area entitled ‘Going it alone’, its author Duncan O’Leary noted that “The Labour party has an uneasy relationship with self-employment. Fears of tax evasion by high earners and the of low earners dominate the party’s discourse. The policy focus is on stamping out abuse, rather than supporting those for whom self-employment is an active choice”.
These are the goals of our freelancers’ charter. To provide a positive agenda for the self employed that Labour can embrace.
A PDF copy of the report can be found on the Labour Finance and Industry website or here