"I'm saying that if I'm 'encouraged' to go permie, then HMRC loses out to the tune of over £6k/year, and you say that's an increase to HMRC because the permie job pays less?"
Hmm,so there are 2 options.
1) Stay as a freelancer and pay, say, 30k tax
2) Go permie and pay, say, 24k Tax
But you are forgetting option 3 which is what the government are seeking
3) Stay as a freelancer and pay, say, 45k tax or the equivalent ot the amount of tax a permie earning the same amount of taxable income. The freelancer still earns more overall and this covers them for holidays, sickness etc.
This is the thinking, however much it may not be appreciated, by the govmint.
BTW, I'm not saying that freelancers aren't paying their right share of tax, but just using an argument of I pay more tax overall than someone else therefore I shouldn't pay any more, doesn't wash it. Otherwise everyone regardless of wealth or income would just look to pay a fix tax amount per year, hardly progressive, is it?