According to the recent Taylor Report, paying tradespeople cash in hand should be discouraged in order to help the Treasury collect up to £6 billion more in tax.
It has been urged that this ‘hidden economy’ needs to be clamped down upon by encouraging the use of cashless payments. Mr Taylor stated: “ministers should accredit electronic payment platforms to encourage a move to cashless payments by self-employed people such as builders.”
Alongside this, he also suggested that the “use of approved methods such as apps or debit cards could be made a condition of issuing migrant workers with visas.”
However, a spokesperson from Downing Street made it clear that “the government had no intention of spurring Britain towards becoming a cashless society.”
She stated: “we need to make sure we are at the forefront of all the technology and innovation around making it easier to pay for things.”
“But at the same time many people prefer to pay cash-in-hand and that is a legitimate way of paying for goods and services.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn added that being paid cash in hand to avoid tax was “obviously wrong” and that it should be “phased out”.
Mr Taylor suggested that a ‘dependent contractor’ category should be created. This would reflect the number of self-employed workers that are not, in fact, self-employed. Instead, they should be entitled to holiday leave, insurance cover and sick pay. And the company’s that hire them should also pay National Insurance for them.
This has been supported by further reports which have dubbed being self-employed, the ‘biggest con going’. Take a look at the full report here.
iNews reported: “Mr Taylor set out seven “principles for fair and decent work”, including a goal of “good work for all”, additional protections for workers suffering unfair, one-sided flexibility, stronger incentives for firms to treat workers fairly, and a more proactive approach to workplace health.”
“Responding to his recommendations, Mrs May said the Government would be guided by the aim of ensuring that “the interests of employees on traditional contracts, the self-employed and those people working in the ‘gig’ economy are all properly protected”.”
“But she insisted Britain must avoid “overbearing regulation”, retain flexibility in the labour market and remain “a home to innovation, new ideas and new business models”.”
With income being the biggest issue facing self-employed workers at the minute could this cause even more issues? Take a look at why income is the biggest issue for construction workers here.
So what do you think of this? Could you be affected? Let us know in the comments below.