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Working for someone else vs self employment

Guest treesea

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Guest treesea

For those of you who haven't been back a long time and may not be up on things like tax credits and in particular working tax credit, don't worry too much if you can't get a job back here in the recession. Or about not bringing much money back with you. Self employment is a viable option here, even if you don't have much money to bring back with you.


Working tax credit is paid in full (like the dole but paid by the HMRC rather than the DWP), until your profits reach over £7k a year. Rent too, including private rent, in full, as long as your cash doesn't exceed £16K. Currently the government have plans to extend the rent payment to include interest on mortgages. If you get housing relief, you also get council tax relief. You just pay the water rates, around £300 a year or so. For national insurance you still pay it, but at around £1 a week until your business becomes profitable.


Something truly bizarre about rent relief. This is paid as a local housing allowance, so if, for instance, your rent is £150 a week and the housing allowance is £250, you get the entire £250. Very odd. I think they are in the process of changing this.


I left a six figure income in Australia to come home, and by the time I made the shift, I would have stacked shelves at Tesco. But it never came to that. One thing I would say about Britain when it comes to self employment - it is definitely the land of opportunity compared to Australia. Sure, being self employed is a hard life and long hours compared to sitting in an office all day pen pushing, but at least there is support for the self employed here, unlike in Australia. When we were just starting up, that financial help was both unexpected and very welcome, and had all sorts of unexpected extras tagged on, like free dental care and free prescriptions.

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