Lib Dems Unveil Bold Manifesto for Self-Employed

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The Liberal Democrats have launched a radical manifesto aimed at the self-employed, presenting significant policy changes that set a new benchmark for other political parties ahead of the general election.

According to a tax and self-employment expert, these proposals draw “lines in the sand” for comparison.

Key pledges in the manifesto include:

Ending Retrospective Tax Changes

The Lib Dems plan to abolish retrospective tax charges such as the Loan Charge introduced by the Conservatives. They also promise to review the Government’s off-payroll working IR35 reforms to ensure fair treatment for self-employed individuals.

Tackling Late Payments

The manifesto requires all government agencies, contractors, and companies with over 250 employees to adhere to the prompt payment code, addressing the persistent issue of late payments.

Modernising Employment Rights

To align with the realities of the gig economy, the Lib Dems propose a new ‘dependent contractor’ status, which falls between traditional employment and self-employment.

Reviewing Tax and National Insurance

The party commits to a review of the tax and National Insurance status of employees, dependent contractors, and freelancers to ensure fair and comparable treatment.

Seb Maley, CEO of Qdos, responded positively to the manifesto, stating, “The Liberal Democrats have thrown down the gauntlet to the other parties with a manifesto that will resonate with many freelancers, contractors, and self-employed workers. From committing to ending the Loan Charge to action on late payments and a much-needed review of the off-payroll reforms, the Lib Dems are positioning themselves well to win over the support of the UK’s 4.2 million self-employed and flexible workers.”

Maley added, “With lines in the sand now drawn, it will be interesting to see what the Labour and Conservative parties are willing to do to try and win votes from this crucial set of voters.”

As the general election approaches, the Liberal Democrats’ bold proposals mark a significant effort to appeal to the UK’s substantial self-employed workforce, challenging other parties to respond with their own measures to support this vital segment of the economy.

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