Re: I am HMRC's target
I'm freelance. There are two issues at the core of this that are being completely ignored:
1. Freelance = flexibility - on both sides. Anything that discourages people from working freelance on a significantly large scale will increase cost to businesses as they will have to put people properly on the payroll, or pay higher day rates to those willing to work inside IR35.
2. Completely agree with your point about two tax systems. So if HMRC will legislate such that I receive pension contributions, sick pay, paid holiday, paid life insurance and all the other employee benefits and legal protections (i.e. contractual equality at the level of the individual) then fine, go ahead. Either I'm an employee of the end client in every sense of the word, paying my taxes as an employee with all the rights and benefits thereof, or I'm not, and I am compensated appropriately for not receiving any of those benefits or protections.
As an aside, the government's total tax take will fall if I go back perm, as I suspect quite a percentage will do (as happened when IR35 was originally introduced). Most of my clients are (or have been) multinationals that use international structures to avoid tax. My company doesn't, and neither do I. Food for thought.