The new "Universal Credit" and self employment

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  • The new 'improved' Tory plan to screw over the self employed - aka "universal credit" - pretty much buggers up anyone who does any form of work that's seasonal or variable through the year - eg events, festivals, gardeners, musicians, writers, and so on and is on Working tax credit, Family Tax credit etc.:curse:

    The major issues here are:
    "work focused interviews" to decide if what you are doing is the best way and you may be better off being employed...

    Monthly reporting of income - and no allowance to carry it over to the next month, and no allowance for seasonal fluctuations.


    Loss of entitlement if you leave the UK for more than 4 weeks


    And lots more - check the link:


    http://www.permaculturehousein…nd-the-self-employed.html

  • This is potentially catastrophic. Not only for those of us who may be affected but also for unemployment and the economy. Even though my income is small and I rely on tax credits, I am economically active. I pay workshop rent, I buy steel and all kinds of other things, all of which keeps the economy moving. Take out the thousands of people like me and every business in the country will suffer.

  • same thing julian...ok i don't have rent to pay for my business but i do buy materials for art and crafts, i do spend money on continuous professional development and stuff for my practice and try very hard to support the local economy... Like yesterday i travelled and spent slightly more than online prices JUST to support an independant high street craft store. lots of plans for the doula community locally to help us all ride it out but i pity the poor sod that gets me in an interview...planning on chucking "Big Society" right in their faces!! We rely on tax credits as am not pulling a wage that's regular yet and any earns get put back into the business in one way or another. Hard harsh times xxxxxx

  • It didn't make for easy reading. I'm going to see if tax credits will help me. I've not applied for them, Nor was I going to until I looked at that link. If I struggle with health and my working hours fall short through ill health, then it could be a potential safety net for disabled self employed people. Another reason to apply for it, is that I will understand it more when it personally effects me, so great research. I take it there will be a knowledgeable representative, whereby face to face consultation is available? My experience of the Inland Revenue these last few moths is one guy/gal sat behind a computer (part time) saying the computer says yes, but I say no. Why are they so keen to close down every frigging Tax office in the country?

  • i dunno mate but got a shock when i found out last year that business link only exists as a website now instead of an office in every town practically. Getting harder and harder to find people in a face to face situation.

  • they're going to solve the problem by replacing workers with automation then :rolleyes:
    are they really THICK or do they have a nasty sense of irony?

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • This really bugs me. It doesn't take a genius to realise that somebody who has their own business might at some stage find that the business grows to the point that it is too difficult for them to handle by themselves, so decide to take somebody on thus making an unemployed person employed.


    I have skim read the article. If I am honest it will be a total disaster for the economy. It is good that somebody who is starting up sets out a meaningful business plan. One of the biggest down falls I see though is that businesses that have seasonal variability it will cause a lot of problems, some of which would have implications for us all.


    For instance farmers would be badly affected by this. They can't afford to do regular hours, often it is a 24/7 job, particularly at critical times. Also they only make their money when they can sell their produce, either after an animal has gone to market or they have harvested their crop. With crops it can be difficult to predict yield sometimes as it is dependant on largely on the weather.

  • Anyone setting up their own vineyard will get a raw deal out of this unless they are sitting on their own pot of gold. The time limit they have given is to short. A vineyard takes 2 years at least to establish and it is usually 3 years before you see any return from the wine you sell. Under this scheme, if you get approval, you will find your self having a choice of having to abandon the vineyard to go to a job the advisor finds you or loose your benefits. Both are not options.

  • Does any of this affect self employed people who don't claim anything? I dont really understand all the complicated legislation and stuff, I just work and earn my living how I can. I figure if i dont put anything in to the system, i dont expect to get anything from it, seems the best way to me to just not get involved...

  • Does any of this affect self employed people who don't claim anything? I dont really understand all the complicated legislation and stuff, I just work and earn my living how I can. I figure if i dont put anything in to the system, i dont expect to get anything from it, seems the best way to me to just not get involved...


    No, it affects self employed people on low incomes who currently get working tax credits like normal employed people do. I wish I earned enough not to need them but I'm a year or two away yet. The worry is that we'll all be forced onto the dole. Ironically, there has been a huge rise in the self employed, as people have chosen either to have a go themselves rather than be unemployed or been laid off and taken back on again as self employed sub contractors. The government apparently thought this was a good thing. Well they're in for a shock now...

  • way I'm trying to work it is by diversifying my practice so that the actual birth doula-ing isn't the main earner...hoping to raise profile as a reiki practicioner and, universe-willing, attract a couple of regular clients...happy to work for cash or skill swap or vegetables and family food stuffs ... All declared obviously...and mentally back on top after a major wobble last week and ready to run rings around the local job centre staff when the invite for judgement comes in... They're playing a cruel and nasty game with us all but unfortunately (for them) we are bigger in numbers and far more intellectually and emotionally intelligent than these assholes ruining our country...so what can we do? I've joined Unite (the union) as a community member and plan to liaise with my local shop steward if i get asked to prove my worth... I also plan to challenge the notion that a government agency is acting in the people's best interests if it is only utilising criteria from within the consumerist paradigm to judge me on how successful I am...must be something in the EU Human Rights that allows us the right to be judged under a multi-paradigm approach which recognises success and worth felt or percieved beyond £££££ in bank account. Also thinking about communities of self employed coming together under CIC's and SE's ?? Need to think and research that one more.... The need to communicate with and support one another is vital in order to survive this [global depression] on every level.

  • Not sure that approach will work Sarah, not that I disagree. The problem is that they are paying to top up our earnings from low paid work. The onus will be on us to demonstrate that we are actually doing a reasonable amount of paid work, otherwise they will see us as working for charity at their expense. You are allowed to volunteer while on the dole, but you are still expected to try and find paid employment.

  • I think if you take your invoices in and show How much you put into the economy they will have to think on, my costs can run into hundreds of pounds a week, some weeks my tax credit is a great help i pay more in vat, than i claim in tax credit,

  • The onus will be on us to demonstrate that we are actually doing a reasonable amount of paid work, otherwise they will see us as working for charity at their expense.

    In that case Doula UK may well have to rethink their recognition system... it essentially works like an apprenticeship and I am morally obliged to work within their criteria which is to work for a muchly reduced rate whilst I serve my apprenticeship. I am also morally obliged to charge within the rates scope that the doula community charges locally... top-end experienced doula's are charging in the region of £500 to £600 per birth so I can look to my earnings significantly improving once recognised and we're setting up systems whereby we can offer shared care which should potentially increase the number of births we (myself and close doula colleagues) can serve. Almost totally lost the faith last week.. not good...praps i should have stayed on income support and worked behind HMRC's back :p actually HMRC have been totally fantastic and cannot fault them at all... most interested in my vocation and what it entails and most supportive and encouraging and helpful. I checked with HMRC that I can put down things like skills swap as payment and the lady said that was totally acceptable... like my last job I worked part expenses in cash/ part skills swap (mended a broken laptop) which I declared as being worth what the remainder of my suggested doula uk fee was ... HMRC lady said that was totally fine... i've got two massages to set a financial worth against and declare as payment aswell for last month...

  • just asked the question over on doula uk!!! seems to me like they need to dish out some reassurance cos this ere doula is getting a little bit fekking worried....

  • just asked the question over on doula uk!!! seems to me like they need to dish out some reassurance cos this ere doula is getting a little bit fekking worried....


    If you are working at "apprentice" rates, that should be ok. Any business invests in training and qualifications and sometimes does work at reduced rates for a variety of reasons. This kind of short term thinking is exactly why the new bollocks won't work. Hmrc understands all this, the dwp has no idea and will be completely out of their depth.

  • Well we are the lucky town that has universal credits brought in at the end of the month. :( I will let you all know what happens. I have still not been told by anyone yet whether I will continue to receive my small amount of tax credits that I currently get. I think they are keeping it as a surprise.

  • Well we are the lucky town that has universal credits brought in at the end of the month. :( I will let you all know what happens. I have still not been told by anyone yet whether I will continue to receive my small amount of tax credits that I currently get. I think they are keeping it as a surprise.


    I don't think THEY know what the fuck will happen. Our council have finally figured out that we are allowed a room for a foster child under the new rules, after we phoned and told them of course, but they still haven't got the software updated to allow them to pay us!

  • are the tax credits family tax credit??? can i apply for anything?


    Depends on your circumstances. There are currently two, child tax and working tax credits, they replaced the old family tax credit. If you are working but low paid, you get working. If you have kids you get the child tax bit too. Until they replace it all of course. Have a look at entitledto.com