Self-employed need level playing field, says IPSE
IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, is calling for a level playing field for the self-employed with better pension provision and maternity allowance. Its response to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee inquiry into "the future world of work and the rights of workers" highlights the need for a better understanding of the expanding self-employed workforce, so that the Government can meet its needs.
Turning hobbies into businesses
New research by Wix has found that 50% of Brits aged 25-35 would like to turn their hobby into an online business in 2017. The poll of 2,000 people found that, irrespective of age, 44% would prefer to run their own online business than work for someone else. Popular start-up interests are cooking, photography and sport; 34% of respondents said they were inspired by TV shows such as The Great British Bake Off and The Apprentice and also by TED talks.
Personal Tax Accounts celebrate first birthday
It has been one year since HMRC introduced Personal Tax Accounts and seven million people are already using them. Customers can use their PTAs to check their state pension, complete and return self-assessment tax returns, update tax credits circumstances and claim an Income Tax refund. Jane Ellison, financial secretary to the Treasury, said: "We want to make HMRC the most digitally advanced tax authority in the world and it is encouraging that so many people across the country are already logging onto their Personal Tax Accounts to manage their taxes."
Retail sales exceed expectations
UK retail sales growth accelerated in the year to December, with volumes rising at the fastest pace since September 2015, according to the latest monthly Distributive Trades Survey from the CBI. However, 2017 is likely to be a much tougher year for retailers. Ben Jones, CBI principal economist, said: "It's encouraging to see retailers reporting another month of healthy sales growth ... While we still expect to see decent growth in the near term, the pressures on retail activity are likely to increase during 2017."