I’ve been in London over the last week-and-a-bit. We (SEA) have a long association with several UK self-employed associations and have been working with them on common issues to defend self-employed people. Hence the London presence.
The two big issues are:
- The UK tax authority’s (HMRC’s) unfair treatment of self-employed people. (Sound familiar to the ATO??)
- Identifying whether an individual is an employee or self-employed and what ‘rights’ each has.
Reforming tax administration
After many months of planning we were lined up for meetings/presentations with UK MPs in Westminster. These meetings were to discuss how HMRC could be reformed along the lines that we’re campaigning on for reform of the ATO. That is, using the USA laws covering the IRS as a template. However, the passing of the Queen and her funeral have meant that all these meetings were cancelled. Once the Royal transition is complete and the UK Parliament starts operating again, we’ll be working with our partners to re-initiate the campaign.
Our aim is to see if we can get a common movement in UK and Australia for reform of the HMRC and ATO. The treatment of self-employed people by both administrations is terrible, and their intimidatory behaviours share similar features. With a joint campaign effort we may increase our chances of achieving fairness for self-employed people.
Self-employed status and ‘rights’
We did, however, go ahead with a planned workshop session on self-employed status and ‘rights’. Included in this workshop were like-minded friends from the USA. This issue is ‘hot’ in the UK and USA (think California outlawing self-employment). Even though the media were present, we’ve recorded the workshop and presentation and will also release this once the Royal transition is complete. This issue has great importance for the UK, the USA and Australia. In Australia the Albanese government is committed to ‘smashing’ the self-employed. And the Albanese government, we predict, is likely to replicate very confusing UK ‘little bit pregnant’ laws to achieve its aims.
We’ll have a lot more to say about this and to explain the issues over the coming weeks/months. But at this stage we’re putting together a UK/USA/Oz ‘team’ to focus on the common themes to defend the right of people to be self-employed. We’ve gotta be organised!