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Tax authorities. Do they have God-like powers? Discuss!!

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

I’m in London all this week meeting with key campaigners on UK tax issues and the self-employed.

You might remember this recent news post we put out which summarised the BIG problems that self-employed people have with the UK tax authority (HMRC). Essentially, HMRC is conducting a long-running campaign of ‘double taxing’ self-employed people. Yes, the Brits don’t just have to worry about the cricket and Brexit!! HMRC is attacking self-employed entrepreneurship. More...


Regulation-lovers with a ‘solution’ desperately seeking a problem—Gig it!!!

Monday, August 05, 2019

Since the Global Financial Crisis, unemployment has dropped to low levels in most of the developed world at least. That’s fantastic. It needs to continue.

One of the important factors in this positive trend seems to be the evolution of work arrangements that enable quick responses to fast-moving markets and consumers. Flexible work creates work! But this gets regulation-lovers worried. They reckon that if work isn’t controlled through government regulation, there’s got to be something wrong. Currently their focus is on the so-called ‘gig’ economy. Apparently, it’s a big ‘problem’ that needs a solution.  More...


You think Brexit is a mess? It’s the same with UK small business tax. A mess!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

There seems to be a new way to spell ‘incompetent.’ It’s now spelt ‘HM Revenue and Customs.’ That’s the title of the UK tax authority.

The new spelling of ‘incompetent’ is justified given the way HMRC have grossly botched up the handling of self-employed tax in the UK since 2000. We’ve put together the story which we find quite gobsmacking. More...


Tax authority admits secret deals to protect the rich—targets small business instead

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Here’s an amazing admission. The United Kingdom tax authority, HMRC, has admitted that it does secret deals to avoid damaging the reputation of the most powerful members of society, allowing them to escape prosecution for financial crimes. But it still prosecutes small business people!

Gob-smacked? Yep! Talk about one rule for the rich and another for the ordinary person. We thought the UK is a democracy and isn’t there this historical thing called Magna Carta??? More...


Can an incoming tide be stopped? Some powerful people are trying

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Some claim that freelancing, self-employment, whatever you want to call it, is surging in developed economies. For example: More...


ICA Executive Director ponders the nature of work

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Against a backdrop of 'revolutionary' social and political developments in 2016, ICA Executive Director Ken Phillips has posted a new blog which looks at the prospects for the new world of work in the year ahead. Noting the seemingly unstoppable growth of all forms of self-employment, Ken also examines some of the adverse reactions to self-employment and surveys some recent (and quite diverse) academic discussion about the value of 'being your own boss'. You can read Ken's full blog post hereMore...


To gig or not to gig? Fairness and the new economy

Monday, August 08, 2016

This month, ICA Executive Director Ken Phillips has an article in Flying Solo explaining why the new unfair contract laws for small business people are so significant. It’s a rather timely article because the ACCC has just released a new guide to the laws.

It’s worth being aware of your rights as a ‘solo’ business person under these new laws. These Australian laws are a global first. It’s these sort of laws that will make the ‘gig’ economy fairer and hence sustainable as a new business model.  More...


Self-employed update: Do we really need saving from ourselves?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

At ICA, we come across all sort of weird attacks on the self-employed. But one of the strangest is that we ‘screw over ourselves’. That was the argument mounted in California’s self-described ‘premier monthly business publication’, Comstock.

The ‘save us from ourselves’ argument was essentially the justification for Australia’s recent (fortunately failed) attempt to destroy the businesses of 35,000 owner-drivers. Lawyers are preparing the case for the class action to recover losses. Info here.  More...


Politics isn't all that confusing. Really??

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Even a casual observer of US politics would be aware of the wild circus happening around Donald Trump. The core of the Trump ‘issue’ is the rejection of party political ‘machines’ stomping on the will of the people.

Even Trump’s most likely (fellow) Republican contender, Tea Party Congressman Ted Cruz, is an anti-Republican machine person. He’s led the Tea Party in pushing for smaller (no deficit) government against both Republicans and Democrats. But even the Tea Party describes Trump as a ‘narcissistic demagogue’. Could Trump win the Republican nomination? Here’s an excellent New York Times article explaining the Republican Convention voting process. Now there’s confusion! More...


UK self-employment surges—again

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

It’s happened again. Self-employment in the United Kingdom has risen again, this time by 154,000 in the three months to December 2015, thereby making up more than half of the increase in UK jobs. We’ve been observing this since 2013. You’d think this surge in self-employment would level out at some stage, but it’s not happening yet. 

It’s a structural change in the UK economy and society with significant political standing. A demonstration of this occurred just last week. Our UK ‘sister’ organization IPSE (Independent Professionals and Self-Employed) attended 10 Downing Street as part of PM David Cameron’s preparation for his negotiations in Brussels over the UK-European Union agreement.  More...



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