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Labour isn't working for IT contractors

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Outraged contractors have slammed Labour’s policies on freelance work in the UK and claimed that the government’s stance threatens their livelihoods.

A new survey from ContractorCalculator revealed the somewhat unsurprising findings that 88 per cent of freelancers, of which a large portion work in the lucrative IT sector, were dissatisfied with how Labour supports their contribution to the UK economy.

A staggering 93 per cent agreed that their working lives were seriously threatened by Labour’s “unfair” handling of contractors.

The survey reckoned that only seven per cent of respondents would vote for Labour at the next general election.

Contractors also pushed for a range of measures Labour could introduce that would ease the tax burden on the sector. Many called for the abolishment of the IR35 tax legislation that some have argued saddles freelancers with excessive tax pay-backs up to six years after completing a job.

They also said that the government should reduce the paperwork burden on small businesses and that it should “accept that freelance contracting is a valid ‘third way’ of working.”

The survey’s findings follow months of complaints from IT contractors who have bemoaned the embattled Labour government’s latest round of tax legislation, arguing that UK.gov plans would put a dent in their earnings and hamper Blighty’s global competitiveness.

However, the survey failed to give the current credit crunchy economic climate even so much as a cursory mention, which some will agree has a much larger impact on the freelance sector.

Just last month Barclays Capital was forced to tell its IT contractors to choose between a 10 per cent pay cut and a quick exit from the company. That decision was seen as an alternative to cutting jobs as the bank negotiates the looming financial crisis. ®

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