Retrospective taxation – has the Government gone too far?
The House of Commons Treasury Committee has published a report into the measures introduced in the last Budget, and has expressed its concern over the increasingly aggressive measures the Government is taking in its efforts to tackle tax avoidance.
One of the more controversial measures announced by the Chancellor was the decision to tax users of tax avoidance schemes retrospectively – particularly plans to force up to 65,000 users to pay any disputed tax upfront, even before the legitimacy of a scheme has been determined.
The Committee had previously urged the Government to “restrict the use of retrospection to wholly exceptional circumstances”, and now says that “the Government has yet to explain what is wholly exceptional about these cases that justifies this retrospective measure. It should do so in response to this Report.”
Reed reports 16% rise in contract openings over past year
According to jobs giant, Reed.co.uk, the number of temporary and contract jobs advertised online has grown by 16% since 12 months ago – and the number of permanent positions has fared better still, with a 21% rise since April 2013.
Reed, which operates the UK’s leading commercial job board, said that 62,000 contract positions had been advertised online since the start of 2014, compared with 88,000 temporary jobs and 555,000 permanent roles.
A new owner for ITJobsWatch
The site which many of us use to track the current contract rates for a multitude of skills, ITJobsWatch, has changed hands.
John Grant set up the site ten years ago, and now recruitment industry entrepreneur Ray Duggins has taken over the business.
Ray said that the rate data site was “so good I had to become a major shareholder and help the company fulfil its enormous potential.”
You can read more about the acquisition on LinkedIn.
Report suggests contractors more than capable of plugging UK skill gap
A new survey, carried out by umbrella company Parasol, suggests that there are skills shortages in industry areas not previously thought to be affected.
According to the poll, around 80% of contractors working in legal / insurance, sales / marketing, and project management believe that there are skills gaps in their respective industries – gaps that freelancer workers could potentially fill.
Derek Kelly, Parasol’s MD, told us: “While this is a cause for concern for employers and UK PLC as a whole, it undoubtedly represents an opportunity for members of the professional flexible workforce.”
PCG to launch Women’s Freelance Network
The contractors’ organisation is to launch a new network to help freelance women “come together with like-minded individuals and share tips, advice and experiences in a relaxed environment.”
Recent research by the group shows that around 40% of freelancers are women, and the number of freelance mothers has increased by almost a quarter over the last two years.
The first event will be held at Club Workspace in Chancery Lane, London, on 29th May.