Despite the government’s latest shenanigans around taxing and the self-employed, the sector remains strong according to the latest statistics.

Information released by the Office for National Statistics indicates a solid rise in the number of people working for themselves, which would include contractors working as a personal service company (PSC).

The number of self-employed people increased by 148,000 to 4.80 million for the 3 months to January 2017 when compared to the same period a year earlier.

This figure equates to 15.1% of all people in work in the UK.

These latest findings are further indication that Chancellor Philip Hammond’s attempt – now rebuffed – to lift the rate of tax the self employed have to pay was misguided, as freelance and contractor workers continues to form an increasingly vital part of the UK labour market, and should be treated seriously and fairly.

In response to the latest statistics, Lorence Nye, IPSE’s Economic Policy Adviser described self-employment as a ‘crucial catalyst’ that will only boost the UK labour market going forward.

“In the past year the self-employed population accounted for more new jobs in our economy than employee roles,” he said. “The self-employed have been more than pulling their weight since the recession of 2008, accounting for 40 per cent of the total growth in employment. The latest figures really underline the fact that the self-employed have been essential to the UK economy and their overwhelming worth and value should be nurtured and encouraged by the Government rather than damaged. Targeting them to gain higher tax revenues will only have wider damaging ramifications for the economy.”