UK Freelancer Confidence at a Record High Despite Costs “Soaring”
IPSE’s latest confidence index has revealed self-employed business costs are on the rise with 46% of freelancers expecting an increase
Confidence amongst the UK’s self-employed is at a record high, with the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed’s (IPSE) reporting an increase from +8.9 to +11.8 in its latest freelancer confidence index.
This optimism looks set to rise as 41% of freelancers said they were confident that business performance will improve over the next year.
The report also found that freelancer employment remains stable, with 80% of the index’s respondents under contract at the time of the survey – a decrease by just 2% from the first quarter of 2015.
In spite of rising confidence, almost half (46%) of the freelancers surveyed said they expect their overall business costs to rise in the next 12 months.
The IPSE has also warned that the “good mood” among self-employed individuals may not last once Budget policies, such as increased taxes on dividends, reduced business travel and subsistence costs claims, come into effect.
The report also highlighted the possible IR35 tax regulations restrictions, which could result in freelancer business costs increasing further.
IPSE chief executive, Chris Bryce, commented:
“It’s great to see that people who work for themselves are confident in their business prospects, even as they report their business costs increasing. We’re very concerned that the tough measures outlined in the summer Budget will push costs up to the extent that many freelancers will reconsider their line of work.
“The UK needs a robust, confident self-employed community to give our labour market the flexibility it needs to compete in a global marketplace. The people who take the risks associated with self-employment need to be supported in their endeavours.”