From: Graham Davies, Malton.
AS a self-employed project manager for 20 years. I can see from all the comments in the media from both politicians and journalists that the self-employed market is completely misunderstood. I have employed hundreds of self-employed staff across the UK on projects at both the high end of the market in IT and at the lower end in construction.
The misunderstanding is that people assume that the self-employed are paid at the same rate as an employee for the equivalent job. Leaving aside some inevitable exceptions, in general they are not. They charge more for their time to compensate for the lack of benefits that they would receive as an employee.
In IT the self-employed are paid typically from £300 to £1,000 per day depending on grade, which is broadly double their counterparts in employment.
In the skilled trades, Northern self-employed rates are generally between £20 and £30 per hour and in London between £30 and £60 per hour. However they earn considerably more in fixed price projects if they work quickly.
So, we are more than adequately compensated for our loss of employment benefits and I think most of us, if we are honest, wouldn’t really object to paying a bit more tax to pay our fair share towards the NHS etc.
One last point for the concerns of Tory backbenchers: the self-employed are not entrepreneurs starting up new businesses. In the main we are quite happy working as individuals without the responsibility of employing people.
Those who start up limited companies, and employ people, usually pay themselves via dividends and don’t pay National Insurance at all.
Farmer let down by law
From: Martin Downs, Main Street, Linton-on-Ouse, York.
REGARDING your report (The Yorkshire Post, March 11) about an 83-year-old farmer hearing a vehicle drive into his farmyard at 2am and who naturally went to investigate with his shotgun for protection – diesel theft from farms is common.
The police response was unbelievable. Fifteen hours later, they turned up with firearms officers and a full response.
What were the intruders to the farm in the early hours of the morning charged with? Nothing, – and we wonder why the police are always after more money.
From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.
YOUR correspondents have expressed horror at Humberside Police prosecuting the farmer who shot a man he feared was a thief intent on stealing diesel from his lonely farm (The Yorkshire Post, March 11).
May I remind them that it is the Crown Prosecution Service who make the decision? The police have had the right to prosecute removed from their remit.
This cannot help but demoralise hard-working officers who see their efforts to catch offenders thwarted by perverse decisions by those who are never put in peril.
Cafés are no place for dogs
From: Sheila Wray, Newby Crescent, Harrogate.
RE the letter ‘Not every man’s best friend... (The Yorkshire Post, March 11). Thank you to the writer (Mrs Thornton) for voicing what has been irritating me for some time – and this comes from a dog lover.
Dogs being allowed into cafés isn’t something confined to just Whitby, this is an increasing problem countywide and beyond, as I’ve encountered it from Kirkby Lonsdale to Haworth and many places in between.
Never mind the obvious hygiene issues, what about staff who run a serious risk of tripping over dog leads when carrying full trays, while dog owners ignore the potential hazard?
Maybe someone from Environmental Health and Health and Safety can enlighten us on this matter, because in the event of an accident, it raises the question of who is liable.
And don’t get me started on dogs in shops that are clearly not assistance dogs.
The minute I encounter this, I walk out.
Can dog owners not leave their animals at home, even for an hour?
Election not out of question
From: Jack Brown, Monk Bretton, Barnsley.
TOM Richmond is right about Theresa May’s rejection of William Hague’s call for a general election (The Yorkshire Post, March 11).
However, he is surely incorrect about the fixed term legislation. There must be some mechanism available; probably a House of Commons resolution of no confidence. A far more interesting question is why did Hague propose it?
Bonanza in boardroom
From: Margaret Ratcliffe, Wynford Terrace, Leeds.
THE letter from DP Heyworth (The Yorkshire Post, March 11) highlighted the outrageous remuneration packages for no less than 13 main board directors of the Leeds Building Society.
Each of them will be a millionaire if they stay with the Society for two years. The recent AGM papers urged us to vote for their re-election and salary, bonus and pension packages. Those were the only items upon which the members were asked to vote. Clearly, they have their priorities which just as clearly do not include decent interest rates for savers. Have they no shame?
From: David Bentley, Pickering.
IS the pro-fracking Matt Ridley (The Yorkshire Post, March 11) the same person who so comprehensively destroyed Northern Rock? There’s an old saying: Those that can do. Those that can’t, teach.