Fantastic, excellent, brilliant!
I am a contractor -- I pay income tax, corporation tax and VAT; I don't use loopholes or faked expenses, off-the-books work or creative accounting and I'm not special in that regard so I'm not complaining about my situation per se.
I also have more than one client and so tend not to have to worry about IR35, so hopefully I can air my views without being leapt on as a moaner who earns too much money.
There, the ground cleared of bait to all but the most determined trolls, I'll say that this exemplifies what makes GB PLC such a difficult place to set up and maintain business in. Having contractors on the books tends to suit organisations because there is no commitment to long-term employment (ok, well where is there these days), not to payment of NI, health insurance, sick pay, holiday pay, etc.
Somebody maintaining themselves as a small business has work to do outside the hours spent in clients' offices, has to keep up with trends in technology, maintain accreditation where necessary, purchase hardware and software, and so the list goes on.
I won't suggest that there are *no* contractors who don't take the piss, but this just shits in the face of those [government] characters and [tax] officials who claim to want to make this fabulous country of hours attractive for small business.
Many friends of mine also run businesses, not all in IT, and not all affected by IR35; but the one thing they have in common is the amount of effort and dedication required to maintain even a semi-decent level of income whilst working all the hours God sends, in spite of a constant barrage of bills, charges and other general skimmings off the top.
Our beloved mayor [of London] and government are wringing their hands at the sight of big corporations upping sticks and heading for more friendly (and undoubtedly sunnier) climes, but when it comes to the countless small businesses and one man bands, it's less "what can we do to make you stay?" than "fuck you, give us your fucking money".
Let me state once again, in case your finger is poised over the function key programmed with "my heart bleeds for you": I don't think I am any more hard-done-by than others; this is a general observation that, even without the credit crunch (and who could have seen that coming when the country was accumulating enough credit cards to build a small plastic town), things ain't great.