Construction union Ucatt claims closing self-employed loophole could fund entire cost of Olympics

A loophole in the tax system for building workers could be costing the Treasury £2.5bn a year, construction industry union Ucatt has revealed.

The union has called on chancellor Gordon Brown to close the loophole in today’s Budget. The additional revenue would cover the entire costs of the 2012 Olympics – estimated at £10bn, the union claims.

It is though that 40% of the 2.2 million building workers employed in the UK are operating under the false self-employment regime. The workers possess a CIS4 card, which denotes they are self-employed, when in reality they are directly employed by a contractor.

Workers on a CIS4 card are entitled to reduced tax and national insurance contributions.

After consulting academics and experts, the union believes that a conservative estimate would be that false self-employment is currently costing the Treasury £2.5bn.

Alan Ritchie, Ucatt general secretary, said: “No-one in Britain should have to pay a penny towards the Olympics. Gordon Brown needs to close this tax loophole.”

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