Re: The real story - No Rights Employees ("employed for tax purposes")
Yep. Sensible contractors have totted up the costs/benefits and know exactly what their take-home equates to against a permie salary. You'd be surprised at how close things are, once you've done the calculations against paid holidays, pension contribution matching, paid sick days etc etc.
A few years ago I went permie after a lot of years' contracting. My take-home from my permie salary isn't a lot different from my contracting days. TBF my new role is fairly senior and comes with a decent salary, so YMMV.
So, while it may LOOK like the person beside you is taking home a lot more than you are, it may not be the case once you've calculated it all out. So, don't just look at the headline figure.
As Adam40 says: if the contractor beside you is actually getting a lot more in the hand than you are (for the same job), then it's time to move jobs. Or go contracting. You do have the choice.