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Britain’s freelance builders ‘lend’ the Government £784M

Legitimate self-employment in construction is on the increase – and that’s official.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics reveals the number of freelance construction workers has risen by roughly 10% in the past twelve months to 806,326.  Significant increases have come amongst three key trades:  bricklayers, scaffolders and plasterers.

All of which is extremely good news for the Government, as well as the industry and – indeed – the country as a whole.

The explanation lies with Lloyd Dowson Chartered Accountants.  They have taken the ONS information plus the data collected through their tax return service, CIS Experts, to shine a light that shows how labour-only subbies generate additional – and substantial – cashflow to grease the national coffers.

Here’s how the numbers stack up:

Lloyd Dowson's 830 tax returns completed on behalf of freelance builders reveals:

  • 90% of freelancers are due a refund
  • The average refund is £1,321
  • 60% of the freelancers were wholly self-employed (a slight increase on last year’s figures)
  • 40% of those registered under CIS also worked part of the year as an employee or had other investments

Hudson Contract Managing Director Ian Anfield observes:  “It’s good to see that the number of self-employed in construction is on the increase.  However, when you apply these numbers to the ONS statistics, you arrive at a startling conclusion:  Our industry’s self-employed workforce has ‘lent’ the Government £784 million for an entire year!  Moreover, the loan is interest-free – and many will fail to claim their refund.”

Value freelance builders!

Construction couldn’t function without the individual contributions freelance builders make.  If it weren’t for them the industry would be smaller, less efficient and inflexible.

“The construction industry’s business model depends on legitimate freelancers.” - Professor Andrew Burke, Cranfield University


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