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Freelancers' confidence low

11 November 2008
Categories: News , IR35 , Professional Contractors' Group
IR35 still biggest problem, says PCG

Freelancers are unhappy about the economic outlook, according to the results of the latest Professional Contractors' Group (PCG) membership survey.

The figures show an index of sharply-falling confidence about numerous key areas, including the overall economic climate and new business opportunities.

The top problem facing PCG members remains IR35, under which freelancers are taxed as employees, with 65% of members identifying it as a problem and 40% saying it is the top difficulty that they face.

The proposals for a family business tax on income shifting is seen as the next biggest threat: 41% of members regard it as a problem, while it is the largest challenge for 21%.

PCG managing director John Brazier said: 'These results show a significant drop in freelancers' confidence about the economic outlook.

'If it is as serious about assisting small businesses as it claims to be, the Government must act now by abolishing IR35 and giving a firm commitment not to press ahead with its disastrous plans for a family business tax.'

He added: 'Times are tough for freelancers, as for everyone. But what these results show is that the biggest problems are the ones created by the Government'.

Mr Brazier then suggested that to preserve the flexible labour market, the Chancellor 'must use his Pre-Budget Report to announce that IR35 and the family business tax are to be scrapped'.

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