This week IPSE (The Association of Independent Professional & the Self-Employed) launched their first ever IPSE manifesto, setting out their stall for the General Election in 2015 with a whole range of policies to help independent professionals and the self-employed.
Guest blog from George Anastasi, Policy Development Manager at IPSE, originally posted on IPSE on September 11, 2014.
Debbie So from Impact Hub Islington is featured in the IPSE Manifesto talking about Infrastructure: Building the new Self-Employed Economy.
With self-employment rising at a record rate, it is more important than ever to outline extensive policies that the next Government could implement to unlock the potential of this important sector. To ensure that we covered the issues that matter most to the self-employed, we consulted with independent professionals working across sectors, as well as held a series of roundtables with think tank DEMOS and discussions with leading academics.
Although the manifesto is now complete, the work doesn’t stop here. The launch of the manifesto also marks the beginning of a hard-hitting campaign to ensure that our proposals are taken up by the main political parties ahead of the election. IPSE now has to push forward the manifesto’s ideas and make sure decision-makers sit up and listen to our proposals.
First of all, we will publish a series of reports explaining how some of the policies we propose will work in practice. These reports will provide a robust and well-argued case for our proposals and will also ensure we maintain interest from the press throughout the year. Look out for these over the coming months – as well as going into more detail about our plans, they will also talk more about the problems faced by our members in areas such as infrastructure and tax.
Secondly, we will present our plans to politicians at the highest level and we are already speaking to senior advisers and MPs about our proposals. Timing is key. Party aides and acolytes will be arguing over the finer points of their own manifestos, searching for bold but realistic ideas and trying to ensure their policies are appealing to the broadest possible group. IPSE is in a strong position to have an influence here – our own research shows that the total number of self-employed workers will exceed that of those in the public sector by 2016. Therefore, IPSE represents a sizeable demographic which politicians will certainly want to please.
Lastly, we will be working hard during the party conference season to get our voice heard. With such a stratospheric rise in self-employment over the last few years, our issues are well and truly on the radar. Think tanks and academics are scrambling to explain the rise in self-employment, and politicians are working out how to respond. This year’s Party Conferences are the last in the electoral cycle, making them the most important to be a part of. IPSE will be at all of the three main conferences hosting events with our Women’s Freelance Network and with the think tank DEMOS to discuss our ideas.
It’s an exciting time in politics – no one is certain who will win the General Election and as such there is a clamour from all sides to ‘own’ the self-employed space. This means IPSE is in a prime position to see that its ambitious policy platform is taken forward.
To find out more about IPSE’s manifesto ‘Britain’s Secret Weapon: Unleashing Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed in the New Economy’, download a copy here.