Freelance body calls for tax-deductable training

Freelancers not getting a single mention in Jeremy Corbyn’s conference speech to his Labour Party has led to a call for such self-employed people to get tax-deductable training.

The call was heard outside the freelance sector in 2014, when the Skills Commission pointed out that the training needs of freelancers were ‘not being met,’ by industry or government.

Just before the commission’s report, IPSE, the freelancers’ trade body, put the need for a tax-deductible training to George Osborne, the then-chancellor. It also put it at the heart of its manifesto.

Ahead of the current chancellor’s Autumn Budget, and having heard an aspiring prime minister -- Mr Corbyn -- speak of the need for a ‘national education service’ without a nod to freelancers, or their role as a skills provider, IPSE has put tax-friendly training for freelancers back on the agenda.

“As it stands, if you are self-employed, training outside your profession isn’t tax-deductible as it is for employees,” said Chris Bryce, chief executive of the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed.

“In our rapidly-evolving economy, this must change so the self-employed workforce can be given the tools to continue driving the UK’s growth, flexibility and competitiveness.”

It’s the sort of policy suggestion that the association was hoping Labour’s leader would make in his Brighton keynote. But the self-employed were entirely absent from his address.

“In a speech as broad and extensive as Corbyn’s, we would have hoped he could have directly mentioned the value of the UK’s booming 4.8 million-strong self-employed workforce,” Mr Bryce said.

“[His] commitment to making education and training available across the population is heartening, it’s also important to look at more immediate concerns. Lifelong learning is vital, but there are short-term issues that need be addressed to allow the self-employed to flourish.”

Image credit: Jeremy Corbyn  by Garry Knight .



28th September 2017

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