In General

With the Queen appointing Theresa May as Britain’s new Prime Minister on Wednesday 13 July, the fledgling premier has received congratulations from the Association for Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) along with some firm advice: don’t neglect Britain’s professional contracting community in your plans.

IPSE’s Director of Policy & External Affairs, Simon McVicker, commented: “On behalf of everyone at IPSE, we would like to wish Mrs May our warmest congratulations on becoming our new Prime Minister. She has many challenges in front of her, but she has demonstrated that she has the right ability and temperament to rise to these challenges.”

He went on to note that her priority as Prime Minister must be to preside with “strong and committed leadership” over planning and managing the UK’s departure from the EU effectively. This will, he said, require close consultation with business organisations – polite code for inviting Mrs May not to overlook organisations such as IPSE that represent the flexible contracting workforce.

McVicker acknowledged that the Government under David Cameron’s premiership had delivered on several key issues for independent professionals, such as the commitment to appointing a Small Business Commissioner to deal with the pressing problem of late payments. But, he also pointed out that Mr Cameron’s Government had presided over more troubling measures, especially the planned changes to how independent professionals contracting in the public sector are taxed.

He urged Theresa May to set out “a bold plan that helps the self-employed and makes our economy the most flexible in Europe.” Her Government, he said, should seek to obtain secure global trading agreements along with access to the single European market while simultaneously shedding burdensome regulation on small and micro businesses.

Responding to the PM’s appointment of Philip Hammond as Chancellor and Greg Clark as Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Mr McVicker welcomed both men into their new roles.

He acknowledged that Mr Hammond brought credibility to one of the most critical roles of state and urged him to place restoring business confidence as his first goal as Chancellor. Mr Hammond’s rejection of a Brexit budget was an encouraging start because, said Mr McVicker, the nation needs stability now.

He added, “The flexibility of the UK economy has proved to be vital during times of change. Therefore, the role of the self-employed will be crucial in the coming months and years. Mr Hammond must help create the most dynamic economy in Europe.”

He also urged Mr Clark to support the flexible labour market by working with the Chancellor in following up on the Deane review on self-employment.

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