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Levelling the tax playing field for workers

10 October 2018 / Helen Miller
Issue: 4667 / Categories: Comment & Analysis

Tipping the balance


  • There has been a large increase in self-employment.
  • Lower employment rights do not justify lower taxes.
  • Tax breaks for business owners are not the best way to encourage entrepreneurship.
  • The tax system should treat different forms of working equally.

The recent rise of self-employment – which accounted for 40% of the UK’s workforce growth between 2008 and 2017 – and in particular the growth of so-called ‘gig economy’ jobs has sparked fresh debate about who should have employment rights and when. A central concern is that employers are restructuring jobs in ways that leave individuals with fewer rights.

Earlier this year Pimlico Plumbers was at the centre of this debate in the Supreme Court when Gary Smith won his case to be classed as a worker (and receive more rights) rather...

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