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Fairer balance is needed

Dyke Yaxley is backing calls to create a more level playing field of business support between self-employed people and salaried staff.

Latest figures show that 15% of British workers are now classed as self-employed and the figure is continuing to rise.

Yet a Government-commissioned review revealed that self-employed people find it much harder to get a good deal on mortgages, insurance cover and pensions.

Our Tax Specialist, Pam Mason said: "There are now 4.6 million self-employed people in Britain, but the level of support they receive still leaves a lot to be desired.

"In rural counties such as Shropshire, self-employment has been one of the biggest economic success stories of recent years.  We should be doing everything we can to give them the support they need, so they continue to thrive."

The review, carried out for the Deprtment for Business, Innovation and Skills, suggested the introduction of more flexible mortgages, pensions and insurance packages for the self-employed.

It also called for the self-employed maternity allowance to be brought into line with statutory maternity pay for the first six weeks, and recommended a clarification of the definition of a self-employed person for tax and employment law purposes.

Pam said: "The support provided by Government to those starting or extending a family should be consistent, whether the person is employed or self-employed.  The UK relies on millions of hard-working self-employed entrepreneurs who are paying an ever-growing role in our economy.

"It would be a very sad state of affairs if the way in which a person chooses to work was creating barriers to them either buying a home, or feeling that they could start a family."

Mike Cherry, Policy Director at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "For too long the self-employed have been frozen out of getting fair access to mortgages, insurance products and pensions.

"They bring unbeatable flexibility to our workforce while allowing many people to realise their dream of becoming their own boss, taking real control of their working lives.

Pam Mason