Is self employment the panacea for all our ills?

Glynismillward here takes apart the Tories claim that that employment figures are rising, so everything must be fine and rosy in the economic garden. She shows here that the employment figures are rising only because people are becoming self-employed at a massive rate. This is actually the sign of an underdeveloped economy, not a complex one as Britain’s is supposed to be as a developed, industrial or post-industrial society. The self-employed earn less than employees, and are frequently forced to mortgage their homes and borrow in order to finance their businesses. The sheer complexity of the tax forms and the draconian punishments if one gets an entry wrong or misses a payment are also a problem, as is the fact that those on such low incomes may also not be able to pay the right level of the right kind of NI contributions to qualify for a state pension. And then you get to the fact that, if you haven’t told you’re insurers that your home is now your workshop or office, they may not pay out if you have an accident.
In short, if you’re self-employed, you’re likely to be poor and very insecure. But it all looks good for the Tories and their mates in the financial sector, wanting to put interest rates up.

The lovely wibbly wobbly old lady

The ConDem Coalition claims that “more people are in work than ever before” have been undermined by a report that shows the number of traditional employee jobs is falling or flatlining across the country – a phenomenon masked by an explosion in recorded self-employment which one economist describes as “the last refuge of the desperate”.

Only London has shown a marked rise in employee jobs in the last six years, according to new analysis by the independent thinktank the Resolution Foundation, seen exclusively by the Guardian.

Gavin Kelly, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, said: “The defining feature of the post-crisis jobs market has been the strong performance of employment alongside an unprecedented fall in wages. But underneath the headline job figures over this period we saw a staggering increase in self-employment that cloaked far weaker performance for employees. Looking back over the whole downturn we see that in most…

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