Report: Almost 80% of UK Self-Employed Workers Living in Poverty


Nearly 80 percent of self-employed people in the UK are living in poverty, according to a new report.

The HM Revenue and Customs data, which was updated on 30th January, assessed the earnings of approximately five million self-employed people between 2012 and 2013, including income from other sources such as full-time employment and pensions, NewsWeek reported.

However, even when these other earnings are taken into consideration, 77 percent of self-employed people live in poverty, according to analysis by Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK.

Earning £15,000 or less, or two-thirds of the median level of pay, classifies a person as living in poverty.

According to the statistics, the average income for a self-employed person was just £14,655. The top 1.7 percent of the group make 30.7 percent of the total of self-employed profits, and are often lawyers and accountants who are taxed as self-employed and who can earn up to 25.5 times more than the average.

Self-employment made up 44 percent, or 540,000, of new jobs since 2010. Half of this number is made up workers aged 50 and up. In addition, more than 40 percent of the self-employed jobs created in that year were part-time. There are now a total 4.5 million people working for themselves in the UK.