Self-employed – the nouveau pauvre
April 26, 2014
The Government has been using ‘self-employment’ status as a bribe to fiddle the jobless figures – the Working Tax Credit is a better support mechanism than Job-Seeker’s Allowance, so they push the jobless into registering, and that makes it look like unemployment has gone down.
In truth, the jobless figures have been fiddled perpetually for over 30 years, and have long-since been meaningless.
I take a break for a week or so and lots of people publish stuff about self-employment. Even the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee were discussing it earlier this month, describing it as a “striking feature” of the UK’s labour market while holding a “range of views” as to the possible reasons for it. As Ben Chu noted, this is a polite way of saying that they disagree, which is not surprising given the ambiguous and sometimes contradictory data on self-employment.
Of course, this didn’t stop the government putting its own spin on the MPC’s comments. Ian Duncan-Smith claimed that welfare reforms were reviving Britain’s entrepreneurial spirit, citing the Bank of England in support, even though there was no reference to entrepreneurialism anywhere in its report.
What the MPC did say, however, was that benefit reforms might have been one of the factors leading to higher rates of self-employment…
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