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Labour look to break down barriers for self employed


Labour shadow ministers have met with business leaders to discuss the current problem of self employed people having little access to mortgages and pensions.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the rate of self employed people has risen by 13% in the last four years, rising to 4.2 million people in January. Out of these 4.2 million people, only 22% contributed to a pension. In comparison, in 1996/1997 62% of self employed people contributed to a pension.

The Pensions Policy Institute has warned that auto enrolment is not attractive enough to young self employed people, and may not be good enough to boost take up.

One in five self employed people have struggled to get a mortgage, particularly after the tough new income verification questions brought in after the Mortgage Market Review. Some lenders demand up to 12 months of accounts, verified by an accountant, for a self employed person to even be considered for a mortgage.

Labour MP Rachel Reeves, who is the shadow work and pensions secretary, has advised that she wants to “break down barriers” of financial services products for people who are self-employed. She said:

“Labour wants to break down the barriers which millions of self-employed people face when they are try to apply for a mortgage or save for a pension. We’re holding this summit to ensure the next Labour government does everything it can to help self-employed people to succeed.”

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna says:

“All too often self-employed people are being held back and ignored by government and we’ve seen entire programmes put in place by ministers which fail to take their needs into account.”

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If you are self employed and worried about getting a pension or mortgage, struggling with money, or if you have any personal finance questions, then please contact our financial advisers. You can get in touch by asking a question online, calling us on 0800 092 1245, or by arranging a visit.

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