Britain’s self-employed make up for 15% of the population. That’s 4.6 million people, who live in the UK, and are currently self employed. The career paths change from person to person. The self employed are taxi drivers, hairdressers, teachers, builders, and nuclear engineers. The list goes on and on. The decision to stay in the EU will dramatically affect the self employed in a few forms. It could have a huge impact on tax, regulations, and the export and import of goods. Therefore the demand for the self employed to vote has increased.
Thousands of UK businesses trade with the UK directly and indirectly. Leaving could mean less trade, and the decision to do so could change this, and means more economic insecurity for the UK. It’s believed that smaller firms would suffer the hardest, with the treasury predicting that the economy would be 6% smaller. This, for the average self-employed household, would mean a loss of £4300 a year.
A study by MTV this year has found that, of the 11 000 self-employed people that they questioned, 81% of them prefer to be self employed than in a desk job. They also predicted that this could rise in coming years, with younger-more creative-people being drawn to self-employment rather than the 9-5 life. With this rise, however, comes the news that pension coverage is at “crisis level” for self employed people. It’s thought that millions could hit poverty in the next few decades. This is due to outdated pension schemes, and the fact that not enough people are saving for their pension as much as they did years ago. The DWP estimates around a 22% fall in the amount of self-employed saving for their retirement. They also recommended that to change this figure, that National Insurance Contributions (NCI’s) be risen to 12% rather than 9%. Ensuring a fair and equal chance of a great retirement for the self employed. Along with this, a change to business and profit for smaller companies and self employed people could be disastrous. This is why many people are calling for “Britain’s forgotten army”, as quoted from the Yorkshire Post, to vote in the EU referendum.
Despite this, however, over 200 small business owners and bosses have signed an open letter. The letter urges Britains to vote for leaving the EU, saying that it will give “flexibility and adaptability” to small businesses throughout the UK. The letter also encourages small businesses not to listen to large companies who want to stay. It also states that Small and Medium sized enterprises ( SME’s) are the future of self employment businesses. As well as this, George Osbourne has encouraged small firms to vote in the Referendum in a bid to secure their future, as well as the country’s.
The UK will vote on the 23rd of June on whether to stay or leave the EU. For small businesses and the self employed, it’s going to be a hard decision. Do you vote stay and keep business the same? Or do you vote leave and embrace potential new changes to your business profits? It really is in our own hands. Hopefully the right choice will be made come June…Only time will tell.