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Is it time for a Contractor Ambassador?

Last week the Prime Minister David Cameron announced he was appointing twelve Conservative MPs as “Small Business Ambassadors”, who would be charged with “helping promote and represent small businesses across the country and government.”

The MPs are evenly spread geographically – an odd choice given the increased density of businesses of all sizes in the South East – and none are assigned specifically for London, either.

This, combined with the Government’s other ongoing small business support schemes, might make contractors, freelancers and the self-employed a little bit downhearted. One man band companies are amongst the fastest-growing groups on the UK business scene, and depending on who you speak to we number anywhere from 1.6 to 3 million in total. Despite this weight of numbers, there are very few support schemes aimed at us specifically. We’re lumped in with the small business crowd, despite a rather specific set of needs and issues.

In fact one of the only pieces of legislation specifically targeted at contractors is, of course, IR35, which only serves to make life more complicated.

Common small business problems such as increasingly late payments from large corporates are only magnified for the self-employed, whose shallow pockets can often mean a long overdue invoice is the difference between making or missing a mortgage payment.

It’s high time the Government gave more recognition to UK freelancers and contractors – perhaps in time we could even have our own Ambassadors to represent us at Government level!

Jon Norris is Web Editor at Crunch Accounting

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