The General Election is heating up, with the gap between the two major parties closing at a surprising rate. Each party claims it’s the party for small businesses and the self-employed. But what about freelancers and contractors?
According to research from Qdos Contractor, 97% of freelancers and contracts have voiced their lack of confidence in the government.
Qdos Contractor asked 1356 UK contractors and freelancers about whether they thought the government had their best interests at heart. Only 3% said they thought the government did.
Reasons for lack of confidence
Reasons for this include IR35 reform which has been a source of great confusion and frustration among contractors. Taking the choice and decisions on whether someone is within IR35 further away from the contractors themselves, has not been a popular policy. A cut to tax-free dividend allowance has also been less than favourable for some.
The proposed changes to National Insurance contributions led to a lot of outrage and confusion. As the government was choosing to take away the class of National Insurance that contributes to a pension, the self-employed were left without answers on what would happen to them. The government subsequently U-turned on this which led to further confusion but was a welcome change for many.
CEO of Qdos Contractor, Seb Maley said: “That a huge proportion of freelancers and contractors do not believe the current government has their best interests at heart is worrying news. Recent controversial changes to the taxation system has understandably left them feeling unfairly targeted and in many respects vulnerable.”
Despite this lack of confidence in the government, freelancers are still more likely to vote Conservative in this General Election. 42% said they plan to vote for the Conservatives, 14% for Labour and 21% for the Liberal Democrats. A further 3% said they would vote for the Green Party and 3% for UKIP. 16% pledged to vote for the SNP, Plaid Cymru or planned not to vote at all.
Maley said: “nearly half of freelancers still plan to vote for The Conservative Party in the General Election, albeit feeling unsupported by them raises perhaps a bigger question; who really is the Party for UK’s independent workforce? Nobody seems to know.
“With around 2 million freelancers and contractors in the UK, the independent workforce’s vote is growing in both size and importance. Whichever Party is victorious in the General Election has a huge opportunity to win back the support and confidence of our thriving flexible workforce, which is vital to UK business and the economy.”
Do you have confidence that the government or any of the other parties can deliver for freelancers or contractors? What policy would you most like to see? Let us know what you think!