Single-person firms get their own election ads

Striking billboard posters have been put up to remind the UK’s aspiring prime ministers not to “strangle” the self-employed, should their party win the general election on Thursday.

From Land’s End to John O’Groats and at cities like London, Bristol and Manchester, the on-show boards ‘give the self-employed a voice,’ said contractor group IPSE, unveiling two distinctive designs.

The first by the group depicts a white goose flapping its wings while its neck is being wringed, to the left of a capitalised warning -- ‘Don’t Strangle the Self-Employed.’

At the goose’s feet, a golden egg lays -- likely to represent the £255billion that the government's own research has found the self-employed contribute to the UK economy.

The second poster features a woman, presumably a freelance consultant, with the words ‘The self-employed won’t be silenced by tax.’ The three letters of ‘tax’ are written over her mouth.

Writing in IPSE’s newly published election manifesto, group chair James Collings explained the designs: “The outgoing Conservative government took steps in the right direction -- with the introduction of the small business commissioner and moves towards fairer parental benefits, for example.

“But overall, the outgoing government’s approach to taxing the self-employed has been a complete disaster, with the ill-conceived plans to change IR35 and national insurance”.

A “clear headed” review of self-employment and taxation to ensure “fairness and efficiency” is therefore needed, says the manifesto, seemingly alluding to the terms of the upcoming Taylor Review excluding taxation.

The contractor group’s 13-page document also calls whoever is elected on June 8th to:

Former contractor Chris Bryce, now the chief executive of IPSE (The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed), said that the next government, of whatever hue, should realise that “knee-jerk tax hikes are not the answer.”

“From providing fair parental benefits to a comprehensive review of the tax system, [our manifesto] lays out a clear path to embracing self-employment and creating a flexible, buoyant economy,” Mr Bryce added.

“With Brexit on the horizon and uncertain times ahead, only the self-employed can give the economy the flexibility it needs for the future.”

The campaign posters were unveiled at Queen’s Stone in London. They are being driven across the country in the run-up to Thursday’s general election. If you miss them, view them on IPSE’s Twitter feed.

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