Commenting on ONS figures released today showing an 82,000 fall in the number of self-employed workers, Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions spokesperson Stephen Lloyd MP said:
“Liberal Democrats are deeply concerned by this huge drop in the number of people working for themselves, reversing a shift towards increasing self-employment and entrepreneurial risk-taking.
“I find it hard to believe that the roll-out of Universal Credit – which penalises the self-employed – does not have something to do with this.
“By slashing the support it offers the self-employed after twelve months and not taking account of freelancers’ fluctuating incomes, Universal Credit is making it much harder for people in modest circumstances to start their own businesses.
“I urge the Secretary of State to immediately review how Universal Credit treats the self-employed, before it devastates the 800,000 freelancers who are expected to transition onto it.”
The total number of self-employed workers decreased by 82,000 in the three months to November 2017. ONS stats can be found here