Spending Money on IT
Spending money on IT gives the best return on Investment that a company can make.
According to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the Government needs to do more for small IT businesses and IT in general. In a survey, companies are telling them that they get major gains in productivity and profitability through the use of IT, so it would suit everybody, and make sense, if the Government was to incentivise more of those that provide IT services.
More Investment in IT Needed
According to the BCC the government needs to encourage more investment in IT, and should incentivise those already in IT to avail themselves of more Training.
They also believe that the Government should remove regulatory burdens from small IT businesses, in order to encourage and allow them to contribute more to the British economy. I presume that the abolition of IR35 falls into that category.
Government Needs to Help IT Industry
It really is about time that the Government went out of their way to help those who are, and can, contribute so much to the efficiency of the UK economy. If they can help them in any way, they should.
Perhaps they feel that they do.
Government Punishing Small IT Businesses
Well, I can tell them that the view from this side of the fence is that they don‘t. I can also tell them that, not only that, but small IT businesses see them as deliberately punishing and handicapping those that they would be far better off helping.
So why do the Government not help us? Spending on IT is the best spend a company can make. Some people say the Government hate IT contractors.
Spending Money on IT – Fast Track Visa System
There‘s one small thing at the back of my mind though. I remember, many years ago, when the Government had the Fast Track Visa system in place, that contractors were saying then that it couldn‘t be changed, because the Government hated us and were doing it out of spite.
When Gurdial Rai and Philip Ross of IPSE (ex-PCG) spoke to them about it, and convinced them that there was no skills shortage, they changed their minds and suspended the FTV system.
IR35 Can’t be Changed
I also remember when contractors used to say (and many still do) that IR35 couldn‘t be changed because the Government hated us and that this was a spiteful way for getting back at us.
When the PCG lobbying team had their famous ‘poached egg and toast breakfast‘ with Dawn Primarolo at the Labour Party Conference, she was quite amenable to the idea of sitting down again and looking at IR35 afresh ‘as long as the PCG were serious’.
She even said that she felt that IR35 had gone too far and was hitting businesses that it wasn‘t supposed to – although she did say that she was not going to abolish it completely.
IR35, Theresa May and Philip Hammond
Things have changed in recent years with Theresa May and Philip Hammond saying that it is an anomaly that a self employed person on £100,000 a year pays less tax than an employee earning £100,000 a year.
No doubt that the big consultancies have implanted that in them. They see IT Contractors as rivals in the marketplace.
Nut are contractors groups doing their bit to disavow Government of this idea?
Spending Money on IT – Are We Asking?
It‘s just made me think.
Have we, or any of our representatives, ever approached the current Government in a business-like fashion (that means not haranguing them), putting forward arguments, data and statistics showing how IT contracting benefits British business, and saying ‘Here‘s how you could help us to help you and the UK economy and businesses even more’.
Perhaps they have, and I just haven‘t heard of it. Even if they have, I haven‘t heard of any successes or benefits accruing from it.
Spending Money on IT – Lobbying Government Properly
We do too much bellyaching as a profession. We‘re not positive enough. We always assume that the world (and especially the Government) is against us. We don‘t seem to notice that any time that we do put up a case that the Government often go for it.
Instead of bellyaching, whingeing and haranguing, with the constant assumption of defeat, we may get better results if we are just more positive and we prepare a case rather than a whinge when we sit down with the Government.
We need Government to know that spending money on IT gives business the best returns. So, Government need to assist our profession rather than penalise it.
The big consultancies, who see contractors as rivals, have their ear. Do contractors’ groups?
IPSE and Lobbying for IT Contractors
IPSE have done a great job for contractors. They have turned round the fast Track Visa problem and they have helped to half the number of contractors who are now caught by IR35. They are the most successful, and best organised, IT contractors group in the world.
They now need to make sure that they are convincing Government Ministers that IT contracting is a worthwhile profession, and, if the Government could just take the shackles off, that IT small businesses could provide a great dynamo for boosting the UK economy and for spawning thousands upon thousands of real IT businesses.
After all, spending money on IT is the best spend that companies can make.
Contractors Groups Need to Copy Employers Groups
IT Employers‘ representatives Intellect, who represent around 1,000 of the UK‘s 70,000 to 125,000 IT businesses are very good at getting on Government committees. IPSE should be getting onto more of those committees.
We need to put the days of fighting forest fires behind us and get more involved in the management of the forest in partnership with the Government.
I bet that they might be surprised how much the Government was prepared to help them – providing that they put up a good case, with supporting facts, stats and data.
Freelancers Crucial to Economy say British Chamber of Commerce
According to the British Chambers of Commerce survey, those that took part in the survey said that investing in IT was the biggest factor in improving business performance in the UK. How many companies said this? More than half of them said that investment in IT was the business driver that gave the greatest results.
Let‘s hear that again – investing in IT is the biggest factor in improving business performance. We are important to the UK economy. We are VERY important to the UK economy. We matter. Most of us probably don‘t realise how important we are, and how much clout that this gives us.
Spending Money on IT is In Interests of Economy
The Government SHOULD help us. It is in their interests and in the interests of the country for them to do so.
Now let‘s get out there and do some convincing. If the case is good, I bet they‘ll go for it. They have done so in the past.
It‘s well worth a shot anyway.
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