Self employment falls again

I have been drawing attention for sometime to the loss of 700,000 self employed since the lockdowns. The latest figures show that the loss has now risen to 790,000. Some of this was the direct result of the lockdowns themselves. Unable to earn a living owing to bans on activity, some decided to end their self employment and retire, or look for jobs when the lockdowns ended. Some of it is the result of the toughened tax regime which makes it difficult for self employed people to gain contracts from companies worried about tax status questions.  Clearly the more recent falls are not the result of the lockdowns but of something else.

Self employment offers flexibility, more capacity and competitive pressures that help the customers. It can also be a good way of life for people who can earn directly form their own efforts and increase their earnings from doing more and offering great customer services. I am renewing my proposal to the government that they should change the tax rules for the self employed to encourage more to take it up, to the benefit of the economy.


  1. Mark B
    September 13, 2023

    Good morning.

    Self employment offers flexibility, more capacity and competitive pressures that help the customers.

    As a self-employed person I can confirm the above. I offer my services to clients who do not need someone on a permanent basis. They do not want to have to go through all the paperwork involved in employing someone and, once the contract / assignment is completed having someone on their payroll they can ill afford.

    I pay for my own equipment, software and training which can be quite large. Insurance and various registrations in order to carry out work. All of these costs, including accountancy fees add up.

    The illusion that some have about people like me are just doing it for the money is wrong. For me it is a way of life. It offers me freedom to work whenever and for whoever I want. The costs for me between permanent and contract are about the same. For example my software subscription is about £6k and my bill for my website has just come in a over £100 per year.

    IR35 has not impacted me that greatly as it has others but the damage this has done to the revenue to this country is enormous. I have mentioned before other people who have left the industry. Once they use to spend their money on other companies, and now they no longer do. This means that the government has lost revenue through all the little taxes it imposes. For example. Let us take the tax on insurance. I cannot claim this tax back, so every time I renew Limited Liability Insurance the government get a piece of my companies wealth. If I no longer operated my company then the government would get nothing from that. And so on.

    Governments’ are very good at cutting off their noses to spite others. Being cynical, long may this continue.

    1. IanT
      September 13, 2023

      I can only agree with you Mark. I know that there was abuse of the ‘self-employment’ status by large companies but this should have been easy to identify by checks on those companies rather than an effective blanket ban imposed on all. This (and the clearly outdated VAT limit) are large disincentives to young people starting up small enterprises, some of which might grow to much larger ones given time.
      At a more mundane level, it also feeds into the problem of getting ‘small’ household jobs done at an affordable price. The local tradesman has fewer incentives to work for himself and more reasons to become an employee. Everything therefore costs more, if only because VAT is added to everything and larger companies will have more overheads. All this is then compounded of course by the fact that our education system is busy pumping out hordes of unemployed (and unemployable) Social Science (PPE, Arts etc) graduates who are neither willing or able to do essentail skills-based work, such as plumbing and electrics, that would actually pay them a half decent wage.

    2. margaret
      September 13, 2023

      It’s the in between stage where staff are needed to run the business and managers need to be trusted to be honest . The constant levers , who are on the continual look out for something better, the internal conflicts , the lack of loyalty to employer , time management , people management , managing the managers, These are some of the reasons people abandon self employment.

      1. margaret
        September 14, 2023

        i.e leavers

    3. Alex
      September 13, 2023

      Contractors are also a key low cost way to transfer skills across industries (the secret sauce to increased productivity and hight tech growth). IR35 is now a minefield for any company looking to engage contractors.
      So when you look at the government’s actions, it’s policy is to decrease productivity and for nascent high tech industries to happen off shore.

  2. Everhopeful
    September 13, 2023

    I thought that one of the purposes of lockdown was to destroy small to medium businesses.
    A globalist said so.
    There was a previous coup of small internet businesses. And that was quite brutal.

    1. Sharon
      September 13, 2023

      I was just going to say much the same, Everhopeful.

      The idea of resetting ‘how we do things’ is a global idea…and it required that the middle class, to include the SME’s; had to go.

      I still think it’s evil at work.

      1. Sharon
        September 13, 2023

        Reply to myself

        When I first read about, saw video clips of some of the Davos meetings etc of the groups and organisations that wanted to make these changes to society, (aka the great reset) it seemed incredulous. Since 2020 we’ve seen a slow motion train crash of our freedoms and lifestyle changing. I said on this thread, it would need to be smashed at national level – but in the last few days…the energy bill, Kemi Badenoch’s response to it and evens Kwarti Karteng thinking net zero and China are a good idea… I don’t hold any hope for the government stopping our destruction. Indeed, they seem unwilling or unable to see what’s happening to the country.

      2. Everhopeful
        September 13, 2023

        Agree 100%

      3. Hope
        September 13, 2023

        Ditto Sharon. JR’s party deliberately attacked the self-employed. It is currently attacking self-employed by ULEZ and had HMRC clamp down on them as well. This is and was not a coincidence. I presume JR’s party is proud of the figures as their anti business plan is working.

        EU is for big corporates. Sunak and Hint currently working at speed to align and force UK to work in lockstep with EU. Frost was condemned by his EU fantastical chums in the Lords yesterday for saying he had hoped the protocol would be dropped in the fullness of time. Sunak betrayed the country by selling out N.Ireland to EU and putting a solid border down the Irish Sea. I wonder how the self-employed in N.Ireland are getting on? I imagine All N.Ireland businesses and people feel abandoned by JRs party and govt. Traitorous party and a threat to our nation. They need to go ASAP.

  3. Lynn Atkinson
    September 13, 2023

    That’s 790,000 household which have lost their income – unless they are the ones who got the ‘new’ jobs in the NHS. Perhaps the devastation of the High Street is a consequence?
    Perhaps many still do what they did before but ‘under the counter’ – cash and no questions asked – they have to live.
    The Government income squeezed and the criminals thriving. What an achievement. We might be better off with no government at all! We don’t like the options available to us.

  4. Sakara Gold
    September 13, 2023

    The latest Electoral Calculus poll is bad news for the party. Should tactical voting manifest in constituencies – as with the recent by-elections – with a 17% lead in the polls, Labour will inflict a historic defeat on the Conservatives and may secure as many as ~440 seats.

    The government seems to have spent the summer shooting itself in the foot with the electorate. A succession of environment issues have attracted adverse headlines; the announcement that housebuilders will be allowed to release pollution directly into rivers in our national parks, the failure of the auction for renewable electricity (which attracted no bids), the withdrawal of Vattenfall from the halfbuilt Norfolk Boreas windfarm project after $445billion had been spent, the failure to upgrade the national grid, rowing back from the net zero commitments etc etc. There are more bad headlines this morning; the Environment Secretary has failed to ban over 30 dangerous pesticides that the EU proscribed last year.

    The public want clean air, an end to our rivers becoming open sewers, more EV charging points and progress towards net zero. Unless the government ditches its anti-renewables, anti-EV and pro-fossil fuel policies, the Conservatives will be out of power for a generation.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 14, 2023

      Well the Tories richly deserve total destruction (having delivered socialism, a botched Brexit & wasted their 80 seat majority) but Labour have the same, totally misguided policies and will be even worse. They certainly do not deserve to win. The Tories have delivered green crap socialism, wasted their 80 seat majority and richely deserve to be destroyed under the dire Sunak.

      You claim:- “The public want clean air, an end to our rivers becoming open sewers, more EV charging points and progress towards net zero. Unless the government ditches its anti-renewables, anti-EV and pro-fossil fuel policies, the Conservatives will be out of power for a generation.”

      Of course the public want these things until you tell them the costs of for example being against fossil fuels, net zero and for “renewables”. They would doubtless all like a free house & car too. The endless BBC & Government net zero lies & propaganda has worked to a degree.

      Not that, scientifically, there is any such a thing as “renewable energy”. It comes from radiated fusion reactions on the sun (wind, solar, wave), nuclear reactions that heating up the earth’s core (geothermal) or from the earth rotation energy (tidal).

    2. Donna
      September 14, 2023

      Why did the auction for “renewables” fail Sakara? Wasn’t it going to be sufficiently “free”?

      Oh …. no ….. I remember. it wasn’t going to be sufficiently lucrative for the foreign investors, because it wasn’t expensive enough.

  5. Everhopeful
    September 13, 2023

    Yesterday I used one of those trade things online to find a plumber.
    To do a gas boiler service.
    I didn’t really hold out much hope based on the lack of available tradesmen over the past few years.
    Within literally minutes of my completing and submitting details FOUR plumbers phoned.
    Maybe now there aren’t enough jobs to go round?
    Or not enough money to pay for work to be done?
    Or nobody gives a flying fig about home maintenance anymore?

  6. Donna
    September 13, 2023

    The WEF doesn’t want small businesses or people to be self-employed – they are far too independent of thought and therefore harder to control.

    The WEF wants everyone to be wage-slaves for big corporations and uses mass immigration to force wages down.

    The Sunak/Hunt Junta is only too happy to oblige their Puppet Masters in Davos.

  7. Jude
    September 13, 2023

    Having been self employed & retired in 2014. It was tough enough then with income & VAT taxes & a myriad of regulations. Today it is even more complex, which impacts not just the costs of SE but also your time. Time needed to win & deliver the actual work.
    Businesses need to be supported on many levels by our politicians across all levels of Government. Not just be seen as a cash cow.

  8. James1
    September 13, 2023

    Self employment is vital engine of growth for the economy. Unfortunately this is something that is not recognised by so many of our current crop of politicians, due to what can only be described as a fundamental ignorance of basic economic principles.

  9. Everhopeful
    September 13, 2023

    Something bad happened here in the late 80s.( Maybe nationwide?).
    Several medium-sized builders, all with large premises, all with long-standing kudos as local house builders and repairers etc went out of business. (Come to think of it all the lovely long standing shops suffered a similar fate.And now the once elegant streets where they stood look like downtown wherever)..
    Those businesses had a lot of employees and could tackle all aspects of house maintenance.
    They also had APPRENTICES!
    Over the years, getting small jobs done I came across many workers who had been laid off by whatever it was that happened.
    They had basically been forced into self-employment.
    Then, I suppose, came the red tape….( Just in case self-employment should prove too successful).

  10. Lifelogic
    September 13, 2023

    This Consocialist government clearly has wars going against the self employed, small business, road users, landlords (and thus tenants), economic growth, sensible energy policies, people who want somewhere to live… the question is why do they have this mad agenda?

    The more one reads about this government’s new energy bill the more appalling, evil, immoral and idiotic it appears to be. Yet just 19 MPs voted against it!

    Asked if the UK is too dependent on China for EV batteries, Kemi Badenoch said.

    “At the moment, China is leading on this technology, so we wouldn’t be able to get to where we want to get to on net zero by completely stopping or banning Chinese products.”
    “You can’t exclude Chinese-made products from the battery ecosystem,”

    She was touring an EV “Mini” factory and said we needed China to hit net zero (who on earth wants the UK to try to hit net zero. CO2 crop, plant and tree food is vital a little more is a net good!

    Could someone sensible please explain to her that keeping your old petrol or diesel car for longer nearly always causes less CO2 than causing a new EV and short lived battery to be mined & built. It is also far cheaper, has a far better range and is better of the world in general. Nothing very ecological about car battery production (even modern slaves and child labour being used it would seems). This is true even if the cars are charged entirely on low Carbon Electricity (and they will not be anyway as we do not have sufficient available). Kemi used to be one of the rather more sensible Tory MPs. Kwasi who also used to be relatively sensible and bright (though with virtually no grasp of science) is still talking drivel about the green economy oportunities too on GBnews.

  11. Donna
    September 13, 2023

    Do read the following article, which explains the purpose of the Energy Bill and the application of Law 3.0 which it demonstrates.

    What they want, and are implementing, is an army of drones whose entire existence can be micromanaged and controlled through technology.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 14, 2023


  12. Roy Grainger
    September 13, 2023

    Waste of time asking Hunt to “change the tax rules”, all he’s interested in is increasing the amount of tax he takes, not in any benefits that might result on the employment side or any long-term growth that might result.

    Labour are no better – I see they are proposing to ban zero hour contracts. Some people like the flexibility that comes with zero hour contracts and no-one is being forced to take a job on that basis. All that will happen is that those jobs will disappear and be replaced with a lower number of full-time jobs and some people currently on zero hour contracts will be unemployed.

  13. Charles Breese
    September 13, 2023

    Other benefits from a customer standpoint of using self employed people include:
    a) having a direct and ongoing relationship with the person undertaking the required task.
    b) reduced cost due to i) there not being no layer of management above the person carrying out the task and ii) VAT not being charged.

    AI is going to result in many people within the ‘management layer’ being replaced by automated processes. However, there are many tasks of an artisanal nature (eg plumbing, carpentry etc) which AI cannot replace – there is significant demand for having these tasks done well at a reasonable price and therefore a great opportunity for people displaced by AI to generate income by becoming self employed – they might even find life more fulfilling than grinding away as a cog in a larger organisation!

  14. Hat man
    September 13, 2023

    It seemed clear to me that lockdowns were among other things an attack on the self-employed for the benefit of corporate business. Now we know how many self-employed people lockdowns and your government’s tax rises to pay for the furlough profligacy took out of the economy: over three-quarters of a million fewer independent people in the workforce. Not a good look for a Conservative government.
    I hope you can get the ex-global banker now heading the ruling party interested in helping people who typically vote for that party. For example through your tax regime proposals, Sir John.

  15. DOM
    September 13, 2023


    Maybe your deplorable party should stop colluding with the Left and the Globalists and confront all of this left-wing politicisation rather than passing on the cost of its cowardice to the people of this nation?

    I see the new method of purging organisations of white men is to imply sexual impropriety. Allegations made, no evidence, zero police involvement, zero trials in court. What happened to due process and the rule of law or is that now ‘old hat’ under our new Stalinist culture?

  16. Dave Andrews
    September 13, 2023

    Self-employed people are likely to start to employ others once their business is established, so a double whammy on jobs.
    On the other hand they may look at employment legislation and discover it’s just too onerous and they decide to stay small.

    1. graham1946
      September 13, 2023

      I’ve been there and can tell you that once you employ someone it is a whole new ball game. You inherit all theirs and their family problems as well as the legal minefield. It can be disastrous trying to get rid of people and trying to find useful ones is another big expensive problem.

  17. Lifelogic
    September 13, 2023

    So the UK economy contracted by 0.5% in July far worse than the predicted contraction of 0.2% and Sterling falls again. The the largest fall in monthly output since Dec. 2022.

    Good to see Sunak’s, Hunt’s and the BoE’s moronic tax, regulate to death and piss down the drain anti-growth policies performing exactly as anyone sensible would expect them to do.

    How are Sunak’s five promises & priorities going – not too well – zero out of five it seems. Now they are even threatening the people’s state pensions which are very low with more threats to the triple lock. They are already being paid later and later every year! Will mine and my wife’s be cancelled or means tested before we even get them? We have more than paid for them so this would be another theft by this Government.

    Sunak really is trying to bury the Tories even further than John ERM fiasco Major did!

  18. Bryan Harris
    September 13, 2023

    Self employment is the lifeblood of an expanding economy – without it we get less activity and less expansion.

    When self employment becomes threatened by government actions designed to squash the economy, we get less of everything we need to thrive. It is also an indication the economy is dying on it’s feet.

    1. Bloke
      September 13, 2023

      This government’s crazy ways promote self-unemployment.

  19. Stred
    September 13, 2023

    There is now such a shortage of native UK tradesmen in building that daily rates have increased to £800 – 1000 per man/day for extrnal painters. I had to pay a 20% deposit and then wait 3 months for one to turn up. On another job we had to rely on Albanian painters to get the price down to £800/ man day. The English quote was twice as much. Materials cost around £80.

  20. agricola
    September 13, 2023

    Conventional business structures do not like Self Employment because it thrives on the gaps they leave and on occasion grows to swallow them. It emphasises where they are failing and can react speedily to take advantage. Government and its various financial arms hate SE because they see it as a means of beating their conformity and wriggling through their financial tax net.

    That it is the seed corn of the UK economy and its significance in itself is overlooked. It is not liked in its role as a Blitzkreig driving through convention. Just another stupid mistake that an atrophid government make to its cost.

  21. Javelin
    September 13, 2023

    The plan is to get rid of self employment to raise more taxes.

    The downside is that our economy goes into permanent decline.

    The problem here is that the economy is being run on an annual fiscal cycle rather than a 4/5 year political cycle or even a 10/20 year strategic cycle.

    This problem is backed up by fiscal computer models driving political decisions.

  22. Ian B
    September 13, 2023

    Self employment, encourages self reliance, entrepreneurship and enterprise. All the things that have been dictated to the disciples of the Socialist WEF doctrine are against the ‘great reset’, against authoritarian control and the cancel culture.

    This Conservative Government are not Conservatives they are Socialist WEF acylates and will do what it takes to discourage freedoms and democracy. Individuals standing on their own 2 feet taking responsibility for themselves and their loved ones is against the Rishi/Hunt aspirations, for total control and obedience to themselves and their masters elsewhere. They certainly don’t work for the UK, those that pay and elected them.

  23. William Long
    September 13, 2023

    Self employment appeals to those who value freedom and independence, but not to Socialist Governments who like to be in control of every move their subjects make. I am afraid therefor, the proposals you are going to make to this Government will fall on deaf ears, like so many others of your excellent suggestions.

  24. Ian B
    September 13, 2023

    “Gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 0.5pc in July – the quickest pace in seven months – according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).”

    All the time this Conservative Government is running around the World parading itself like peacocks while at home they sink the UK.

    It is logical if you discourage the UK economy, UK enterprise and those that can do things will be irrational.

    The UK Conservative Government hits the UK taxpayer hard, while at the same time refusing to get their own house in order, bring their own costs under control. Then as a double blow they ‘give’ UK taxpayer money to foreign entities who can walk of with it to furnish their home market coffers. This is while denying similar support for their UK counterparts. Even more galling those that receive UK money are not held to account, have no responsibility and the UK taxpayer is denied a share and direct reinvestable from any investment/giveaway.

  25. RDM
    September 13, 2023

    Self Determination, the Way of Life!

    Money is not the most important value.

    Reform IR35, and remove IR35 status, including by simplifying the Tax and the limited liability.

    Remove the need for a Limited Liability, and allow Sole Trader status to be used as a startup or contractor.

    Cash Book accounting would allow simplified Returns (Online), and a fixed Tax rate?

    Use a Fixed Rate posterior.

    So on,….



    1. RDM
      September 13, 2023

      Just to let you know;

      Do you realise that IR35/HMRC/ (PM T May) have made People Homeless (2014 to present), taking all assets, without any explanation or communication! No letters (Homeless), or email, just all Bank Accounts closed! No Money! No connection to the area I found my self, so the Council had no obligation to me, so from late 2014, onwards, I literally slept is a hedge! And, because of my status, as self employed, it took a year before I could receive any benefits!

      Thanks to the Homeless charities that are feeding me!

      But, I will not give up my Self Determination, so the Government can shove their UC up where the Sun does not shine!

      That’s how important being Self Employed is!

      Many Thanks for your support of the Self Employed and campaign to reform IR35, and the Self Employed status!



      1. Mark B
        September 14, 2023


  26. Everhopeful
    September 13, 2023

    The fog cleared for a moment and .I suddenly realised…
    The apparent “saviours” in all this mess.
    Narrate the FEAR and ANGER.
    Have NO solutions. ( Rarely get arrested).
    And to a man tell us to “come together in global harmony and love.”
    So whose work are they actually doing??

    What made me think of it was that JR said “ You do not have to get a smart meter”
    Now I don’t know whether “Yet” was implicit but THAT is the sort of advice/help/support we need!
    A debunking of the whirlwind of disinformation and nonsense.

    1. RichardP
      September 13, 2023

      +1 Everhopeful
      I also wondered if the word “YET” was missing JR’s advice that “You do not have to get a smart meter”. Perhaps he should also have added that you might need a new front door if you choose not to have one!

  27. oldwulf
    September 13, 2023

    The growth in the public sector is a problem ?

    1. oldwulf
      September 13, 2023

      The availability of tax free and tax free state benefits is a problem ?

      ps: Who gets to decide which state benefits are tax free and which are taxable ?

      1. oldwulf
        September 13, 2023

        “The availability of taxable and tax free state benefits is a problem ?”


  28. Ex-Tory
    September 13, 2023

    And of course the burden on small businesses imposed by the extension of “Making Tax Digital” will discourage even more people from being self-employed.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 13, 2023

      Indeed yet another cost, time-waster, inconvenience and back door tax lumped onto small businesses and the self employed and thus their customers or tenants. The Vat threshold is also far to low too, as the (Sunak caused) inflation eats it away in real terms.

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      September 13, 2023

      I’m not classed as a business, my commercial property income is classed as ‘unearned’ yet I am still about to be burdened with ‘making tax digital’. It’s a blessed nuisance.
      I am still a tax collector of course for the Govt – VAT returns etc. No work involved in this unearned income at all.

  29. graham1946
    September 13, 2023

    The government is about more control, not less. They have always hated the self employed because they cannot control them, other than through registrations, accounts etc. I am amazed that you think that governments would want to do anything to help independence when their every action is about control and punishment. It is the WEF way and they are all signed up. No amount of you trying to persuade them will make one iota of difference.

  30. Barry
    September 13, 2023

    Yes I know what you mean I had to close my small place and let some people go. Too much trouble with the customs paperwork was the last straw. Sold off as much as I can – too bad

  31. Lifelogic
    September 13, 2023

    So Thangam Debbonaire (an Oxford Maths drop out and cellist it seems – so not too dim I assume) when questioned on her recent appointment as shadow culture, media and sports secretary was asked if she preferred football or rugby, the Bristol West MP said: “Do you know, I’ve never been to a football or a rugby match, but I know how much it matters to other people. Has she been to any other sporting events cricket, golf, polo, athletics darts, tiddlywinks. She she ever played any sport herself?

    Oh well at least she was honest.

    Perhaps our energy, business, defence secretaries, Chancellors and PMs should be this honest too. Or better still perhaps just appoint people who have some clue!

    Energy Shapps, Kwasi, Rudd, – Do you know I do not know the difference between energy and power and even think EVs and burning wood at Drax saves CO2. I did not even study Physics after my duff O level!
    Business Sec. most of them – Do you know I have never run any business, employed anyone or ever had to balance the books or put my money at any risk.
    Defence Grant Shapps – Do you know I know nothing about weapons, warfare, soldiers, current affairs or defence procurement. But the key thing I understand is we have to have diversity over ability and white pilots are useless. Plus we are trying to make defence net zero and installing tank and warplane recharging stations I think!

    Chancellor (John Major) – Do you know I failed all my O levels except English Lit/Lang and History. So I am clearly perfect for this job. The first thing is to join the ERM and then I can concentrate becoming PM and then bury the Tory Party when we are evicted from it at a cost of hundreds of £billions!
    PM Sunak – Do you know I (and that QE expert one Andrew Bailey at the BoE) do not have a clue as to whom or what caused the current very high inflation! Even if I did we could never admit to it!

    1. Donna
      September 14, 2023

      You forgot Health – Steve Barclay “Do you know, I know absolutely nothing about science or medicine … I certainly know diddly-squat about pharmaceutical products …. but I can absolutely assure you that the experimental products we’ve been coercing people to take for the past 3 years are completely safe and effective …. which is why the MHRA aren’t bothering to investigate the 1.5 million Yellow Card reports of deaths, serious injuries and adverse effects.

  32. Bert+Young
    September 13, 2023

    Enterprise and opportunity should never be discouraged ; many big things emerge from small origins and local incentives vary . Managing the economy from a top down approach must bear this in mind – flexibility should always exist .

  33. Ralph Corderoy
    September 13, 2023

    Your list of self-employment benefits are correct but this will not budge HM Treasury and HMRC who much prefer PAYE employees, captured as they are. The drop in self-employed is progress in their eyes. Even if the Cabinet desire otherwise, their ability to effect change is consistently missing.

  34. XY
    September 13, 2023

    You’ll be wasting your time, the lobbyists had this stitched up since pre-1997 and the Blair govt brought in IR35.

    Large consultancies benefit from making life difficult for their one-man band competition. Often these days, the one-man company has to work through a consultancy and often an agency as well (who have the effrontery to write clauses into the contract that pass their legal responsibilities re IR35 PAYE costs back on to the worker).

    1. XY
      September 13, 2023

      P.S. This is pertinent to the situation, although it may not seem so at first sight…

      There was an interesting piece on political influence in the Moscow Times (an independent Russian outlet, *opposed* to Putin etc):

      In commenting on Musk’s refusal to activate Starlink in Crimea for Ukraine to strike the Russian navy, the author argues that we in the West are actually an oligarchy. Pertinent excerpts:

      “In an oligarchy, great wealth guarantees political influence. The term is often applied to Russia where, ironically, the opposite is true: political status guarantees great wealth”…

      “In the West, to varying degrees, the situation is different. Those with great wealth are almost guaranteed political influence — if not through the political system of donations, then by buying up important infrastructure and services, including in the emerging tech sector.”

      Reading this was a Eureka / light-bulb moment. The lobbying process is one of the methods via which oligarchs exert influence in Western politics (there are other methods). This is how large consultancies exert influence (they are often owned by individuals or founded/owned by small groups of individuals, such as our PM’s father in law’s consultancy).

      Our decisions around parliamentary processes directly affect our democracy. Until we get those right, we will be at best a “flawed democracy”.

      1. Hat man
        September 14, 2023

        That’s a very good point, XY, even if in an unusual source. Consultancies, think tanks, NGOs and other lobbying outfits seem to dictate the pace of much of what happens here. Btw, Moscow Times is not really a ‘Russian outlet’. It’s an online newspaper produced in the Netherlands, and owned by a Russian emigre called Damian Kudryavtsev. He was close to the oligarch Boris Berezovsky and not best pleased with Putin when the latter broke up Berezovsky’s financial empire.

  35. Derek
    September 13, 2023

    I used to think the Self Employed were the back bone of Britian. Not so anymore. To add more, (horror! Carbon) fuel to the fire burning their jobs under the OTT lock down policies, we now have a Government assisting the continuing domination of big Corporations. Why?
    They were actively pro-EU and I suspect still hope we are returned to their fold sometime soon. In the meantime, they are helped along by fellow remainers within Parliament and the civil service.
    If this so-called Tory government was truly pro-Brexit they would replace this missing ‘vertebrae’ in the British back bone by introducing policies that helped not hinder their expansion. But can they do this without the interference of the neo-Sir Humpreys, I wonder. It’s time for our elected reepresessntatives to take charge and shape up or ship out.
    They’ve twelve months to prove they’re pro- Britain and pro British or we suffer an overdose of socialism.

  36. Lifelogic
    September 13, 2023

    You may have missed it, but at the G20 summit, Rishi Sunak just breezily wrote a £1.62 billion cheque from the UK to the Green Climate Fund to “support the world’s most vulnerable to deal with the impact of climate change… And this government will continue to lead by example in making the UK, and the world, more prosperous and secure”.

    (This is about £60 per UK household)

    Allison Pearson today in the Telegraph.

    Sunak’s net zero crusade will leave Britain poor, vulnerable and very, very cold.

    It will also kill growth, export jobs and whole industries and reduce tax revenue.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 13, 2023

      This £60 per household on top of the £700 Suank is already pissing down the drain on carbon capture. The total cost of net zero will end up at something like £100,000+ per household with zero benefit to anyone (other than crony Capitalist, crooks and MP “consultants” perhaps). Sunak and the net zero loons are a total menace to the country, the voters and the economy. Labour, Libdims, SNP will be worse still.

    2. Donna
      September 14, 2023

      I semi-retired a few years ago, downsized and simplified my life. Since the economy-wrecking lockdowns I am actively running my life to minimise the tax I pay as much as I (legally) can. It’s quite satisfying depriving this appalling Government of as much of my money as I possibly can. So I won’t be paying Sunak’s additional levy of £60 per household to piss down the drain of Net Zero.

    3. Derek
      September 14, 2023

      LOL our multimillionaire PM burns £12000 per year just heating his swimming pool yet gives away £1.62 B of OUR money to “save the planet” and to boast , we “lead by example” (just what dumb and glory seeking saps we are). And Downing Street should wonder why they are so unpopular?
      Back Benchers! Please all make a stand for those who elected you to save OUR country and its citizens and order the PM to change course or be deselected!! Or down tools, don’t turn up to support him, whatever it takes but do it now – before the socialists wreak even more damage upon us and take us really down.

  37. Christine
    September 13, 2023

    There could be a number of factors:

    1. The increase in digital nomads attracting self-employed workers in desk jobs to other countries with lower income tax. I know several people who have moved to Spain and Portugal but their work is back in the UK.
    2. Companies Offshoring IR35 jobs
    3. Leaving the VAT threshold at a paltry 85k
    4. Lack of incentives for the skilled self-employed to take on apprentices
    5. People realising hard work doesn’t pay
    6. Getting used to staying at home during lockdown and enjoying more spare time
    7. Ill health. Most people are physically incapable of doing a manual job until the age of 67 so have to either claim sickness benefits or move into another job.
    8. Taking away white van man’s diesel mode of transport. Just try taking a ladder on the London underground.
    9. Introducing ULEZ and other costly clean air zones which pushes up the cost of doing quotes and driving to customers. The tax allowance on fuel hasn’t changed in decades.
    10. The older generation retiring and a lack of trained workers to replace them.
    11. Tony Blair’s stupid idea to get 50% of school leavers to go to university rather than train to be plumbers and electricians etc.
    12. The constant worry of financial ruin and losing your house.
    13. Banks not supporting the self-employed. Just try getting a mortgage whilst being self-employed.
    14. The increased cost of loans for start-up initiatives.

    This Government constantly assaults those who strive and take risks and it reaches a point where people think why bother.

    1. Ukretired123
      September 14, 2023

      Today self employment is perceived as “More pain, less gain” sadly, as you have with great insight demonstrated by your list of recent events that cannot be ignored. “Events (dear boy) events” to quote Harold Macmillan, cannot be controlled especially by the self based vs big government.

  38. a-tracy
    September 13, 2023

    Self-employed has many different connotations. An individual with no other staff employed as a sole trader with a skill e.g. electrician, plumber, gardener, window cleaner, hairdresser.

    One of those self-employed that add under 5 staff and become a micro employer. If the hairdresser just rents out a seat in their shop, is that other hairdresser bogus self-employed? Or going to be deemed self-employed as they are tied to that shop to ply their business, will they have to prove they take on other clients away from that owner’s shop?

    Rayner said her government will put self-employed people in the ‘gig economy’ as workers. So does that mean they can’t offset their business taxes e.g. buying a bike and pannier bag, their works phone, accounts, are they going to all be paye? Within 100 days. It seems to be about statutory sick pay (and they’ve pledged higher sick pay, with no waiting days, public sector level sickness is about to hit SMEs – and they’re going to be expected to pay for health-related inactivity) and notice and redundancy rights.

    How are people going to be deemed as ‘genuinely self-employed’ I hope Labour tells people soon so that can they prepare themselves, or you may lose even more than the 900,000 this year which jobs are they leaving? The Arts? What type of self-employed are quitting? It doesn’t seem to be BBC presenters avoiding employment status.

    1. Mark B
      September 14, 2023


      People should fuss less whether or not a person is self employed or not and challenge the fundamental question that the HMRC keep pedalling, that of, is sufficient tax being paid ? I argue yes, but with a caveat. As the money is being used as it goes around the ‘system’ / economy the HMRC, through various taxes, takes a bit off each time. Slowly each pound that is earned is whittled away leaving a trail of happy people behind it.

  39. Tripple Lock
    September 13, 2023

    Tripple Lock is a great soundbite. the reality of which is between £5-£15 p/w.
    The KEY is the cut off line for Pension Credit.
    I was going to say Keep up the good work
    instead I say put your feet up and watch some vids.

    1. tripple lock
      September 15, 2023

      Today ( Friday ) just directed by the Express to Gov website re insulation.
      I’m eligible and they forwarded my details to OVO.
      This should be shouted from the rooftops by whoever is the Energy Minister.
      Where it may fall apart is Im not on Pension credit by a margin of £30.
      Savings 4K, monthly total pensions including state pension under 1K.
      Don’t really care as I’m hardy but it illustrates my point about the Pension Credit cut off being
      dumb. I think it was introduced so the people on the older state pension could get top ups but the people on the newer state pension couldnt.
      You dont have to print my batty comments , it’s just slightly therapeutic to write them

      1. Tripple Lock
        September 20, 2023

        Ha Ha. Prompt standard reply.
        It’s called ” The Great British Insulation Scheme ”
        It requires
        “Significant Contributions ”
        Significant being the operative word.
        It’s all so amusing.
        I shall be on the lookout now for anything starting
        “The Great British..”

  40. James1
    September 13, 2023

    It’s not the number of self employed people that needs to fall. It’s the number of people in the public sector that needs to fall. Indeed the number needs urgently to fall. People employed in government departments, quangos etc., are predominantly focused on ‘process’. They are not ‘results’ orientated. Failure by the self employed normally ends in them being unemployed. Failure in the public sector normally ends in them being granted a bigger budget. The problems currently facing the country are not the result of taxes being too low. They are the result of government spending being too high.

  41. Javelin
    September 13, 2023

    I strongly recommend you to look at the YouTube article entitled “Hiding the decline in Hot Days”

    This short video of 8 minutes will forever change your mind and convince you that climate change is a huge fraud. The video shows hot days recorded in the USA were much higher in the 1930s and 40s, whether you measure number of hot days or hottest days. If you watch the video you will see how the scientists and media have hidden the truth and massaged the underlying data.

    It’s a huge fraud.

  42. Iain gill
    September 13, 2023

    Really a good PM could demolish the Labour party at PMQs by mentioning ULEZ and 20 mph speed limits, sadly we are stuck with Rishi who is as bad as they are.

  43. Sharon
    September 13, 2023

    SJR Any reason why my reply to myself is still pending from this morning?

  44. hefner
    September 13, 2023

    O/T from The Daily Telegraph, 13/09/2023 ‘The world has experienced its hottest ever three-month period – What comes next?’

    1. Martin in Bristol
      September 14, 2023

      A three month cool period hefner.

      1. hefner
        September 14, 2023

        Not a good answer MiB. The next three months will almost certainly be cooler than the previous three months, simply because autumn is cooler than summer and Northern hemisphere overall trends essentially define the trend in global average.
        What is your forecast for the real question, ie, will these next three months also be warmer than what the 30-year climatology would indicate?

        1. Martin in Bristol
          September 14, 2023

          So I was right hefner.
          You asked a question, I replied correctly snd still you moan.
          I think you are just mixing up climate snd weather whenever it suits you.

          1. hefner
            September 15, 2023

            Why do I think of an eel suddenly?
            Did I talk of climate? No, I didn’t.
            The last three months were ‘weather’. I ask you about the ‘weather’ in the coming three months.
            Should we talk again beginning of January, then beginning of April about the ‘weather’?

    2. Donna
      September 14, 2023

      Absolute rubbish from the DT. The world was far hotter at many points in its millions of years’ existence. Just IPCC propaganda.

      1. hefner
        September 15, 2023

        No, that’s what was not IPCC, simply what the various met services reported these last three months.

        Talking of ´millions of years’, are you following Chris Packham’s (&Open University’s) program ‘Earth’ on BBC2? You might learn ´things’.

  45. Mattie
    September 13, 2023

    My business failed because of present economic difficulties my customers were unable to pay and there was little chance for me to start again as I had no money for outlay. anyway from what I can see whatever money is out there is just going round and round – with no growth – and that’s the economy we have just bad times and no help

    1. Mark B
      September 14, 2023

      Sorry to hear that mate.

  46. Neil
    September 13, 2023

    After undergraduate and postgrad. study I was

    employed 6 yrs (small organisation)
    self-employed 2 yrs
    on the borderline 3 yrs (consultancy contract at a univ., after a long row it was agreed I was still self-employed and tax should not have been deducted at source)
    self-employed 34 yrs

    I retired earlier than I would have wanted due to harassment. HMRC at one point accused me of VAT evasion due to its own website errors stopping my submission of a return. I could do without this and told them to **** ***. I was by then 65.

    This blog by a practising accountant
    suggests that many taxes may fail to be collected. HMRC is now an even worse shambles five years after I called it a day.

    From what I know, lots of ’employment’ in large organisations seems to be remarkably unproductive. Read, e.g. ‘Bullshit Jobs’ by the late David Graeber on the dead ends where some graduates ended up. My feeling is that the world’ is heading towards ever less efficient ways of working, dominated by ever larger companies which face less competition from ‘minnows’ than they did in the past.

    1. hefner
      September 14, 2023

      ´Bullshit Jobs’, indeed a great book.

  47. XY
    September 14, 2023

    A survey published yesterday in Freelance Informer showed that 42% of self-employed people believe they will be unable to afford to retire in Britain.

    Some will try to keep working, others will move abroad (trying to live with the rule whereby the stat pension does not increase if you live abroad).

    A dire state for our country to be in. How could you MPs allow this to happen? So many machinations, so few capable leaders. Just time for one more – ditch Sunak before the next GE.

  48. Ukretired123
    September 14, 2023

    The “Self employed” label conjures up the polar opposite of what socialism likes to historically represent i.e. the “labour” Unions who provide the finance for their very existence.
    SE folks take responsibility for their families, pay taxes, training, employment costs, travel costs, equipment costs, holiday pay, sick pay, heath costs, insurance and their own pensions. What’s not to like except you have to be very flexible, competitive, have selling and marketing skills, keep to date and be good at management in time, money, resources and be prepared to work long hours and weekends either for some clients and/ or WFH on administration of the business.
    Life was tough before IR35 but after Gordon Brown’s blanket “Sledge hammer to crack a nut” self employment is not for the faint hearted. Today too many are tempted to take the less risky route of employment especially when wages and salaries are historically high due to the shrinking population in Britain. Low hanging fruit is today’s mantra.
    The big consultancies also prefer to push their own expensive agendas to clients and poo poo the self employed based on my and others experience. So don’t count on Rishi and recent politicians who have been in those environments. Some MPs fortunately know better like Sir John and JRM but are in minority.

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