Government appoints 'tsar' for contractors

The government has granted the wish of the UK’s contracting body by appointing a minister to be the country’s first ever ‘tsar’ for contractors and other people who work for themselves.

The Conservatives’ David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, will be UK ambassador for the self-employed – a role called for by IPSE and now created in Whitehall.

He will ‘bang the drum’ for such independent workers, while drawing on his own experience of owning a hairdressing business with five salons, which he did before entering politics.

“As a self-employed businessman myself for nearly 30 years before I came into Parliament, I know only too well how government’s policy effects those who are self-employed,” the MP said.

“I believe our self-employed and small businessmen are the lifeblood for the economic recovery and believe that stripping back the burden of red tape and taxation will allow freelancers to flourish.”

Having wanted a minister to represent freelance and contract professionals since 2009, IPSE is enthusiastic about Mr Morris’ appointment, particularly for what it suggests.

It said: “The appointment of an ambassador for our sector shows that the government are ready to take action on the issues facing the millions of people working independently”.

The association sounded especially pleased to note that Mr Morris, who sits on the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, is a successful small business owner.

Meanwhile, the government also announced that it would consider introducing maternity pay for self- employed mothers, to support the number of women joining the freelance ranks.

Business minister Matthew Hancock said: “We're looking at maternity pay and pensions. It's not like being in a big company where someone can cover for you.”

IPSE's Simon McVicker reflected: "[We] called for representation of the self-employed in government, and for action on maternity pay and pensions. We are delighted that Business Minister Matthew Hancock has acted on our suggestions”.

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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