Universal Credit reforms disincentivise employees and self-employed, says IPSE

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The IPSE has responded to the recent Resolution Foundation report concerning Universal Credit.

Responding to a Resolution Foundation report, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed has said that UC has a negative impact on the contracting sector, disincentivising workers and employees.

The Resolution Foundation report said that after the Budget 2018 changes to Universal Credit, work incentives “remain worryingly weighted towards avoiding worklessness in households rather than supporting secure work and earnings progression.”

The IPSE says that by penalising the self-employed for their fluctuating incomes, Universal Credit also discourages people from striking out on their own and becoming self-employed. There was nothing in the Budget to address this imbalance, and evidence to Parliament has shown that the self-employed can still miss out on up to £3,000 a year under the current system.

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Andy Chamberlain, IPSE’s Deputy Director of Policy, commented, “The Budget was a grave disappointment for the self-employed in many ways. It was a particular disappointment for the UK’s more vulnerable self-employed, however, because it did very little to address the structural bias of Universal Credit against people who work for themselves.

“At present, the self-employed can miss out on up to £3,000 a year. That is a cost that many simply cannot afford, and it is a major discouragement against becoming self-employed at all. So let’s not forget that as Universal Credit stands, it is not just standard employment that it disincentivises: it also severely discourages many from working for themselves.”

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