Freelance body welcomes inflation falling, again

Inflation falling to its lowest level since March 2017 is being hailed as a welcome sign for the UK’s 4.8 million self-employed people.

Although it represents only a small fall on the previous month and was partly thanks to the timing of Easter, inflation’s downward trend to 2.4% in April 2018 will ease freelancers’ costs, said IPSE.

It also means freelancers’ day rates are now increasing in real-terms -- for the first time in fact since the third quarter of 2017, said IPSE’s Tom Purvis, citing IPSE’s latest confidence index.

But a note of caution was sounded. “There may be some cause for concern for the self-employed,” he said, “because of the upward pressure the hotel and restaurant industry is placing on inflation.

“Rising prices in this sector will disproportionately affect the self-employed because they typically spend more time working away from home and don’t have an employer to pay for it.”

Even worse for the self-employed, hinted IPSE – the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, would be a lower VAT threshold or last year’s IR35 reforms rollout universally.

“Both of these measures would not only directly harm the self-employed; they also risk contributing to higher inflation because the price of goods and services would inevitably rise,” the association said

“The self-employed are one of the economy’s – and the government’s – greatest assets; with the uncertainty of Brexit looming, it should strive to support, not scupper them.”

 

24th May 2018

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