Sharing Economy law must change says Government review

A government report into the Sharing Economy has made over 30 recommendations that will help the growing sector develop to its full potential.

The review, announced in September by the Coalition, hoped to define the sharing economy and understand the legal, regulatory and social barriers for sharing economy businesses.

Written by Debbie Wosskow of Love Home Swap, recommendations in the report include creating more carpooling lanes in congested areas, a sharing economy focused incubator for startups, and a dedicated trade body.

Revolutionising the economy

Over 1,000 people submitted evidence to the review and Debbie met with over 100 people, including representatives from the TUC, The British Hospitality Association and the B&B Association.

Other notable recommendations, particularly aimed at the Government, included a new tax guide for sharing economy startups, getting the ‘digitally excluded’ online and simplifying the Government’s Space for Growth scheme.

Business, Enterprise and Energy Minister Matthew Hancock explained that the Government will “back the innovators, challengers and agitators nationwide who are tearing up traditional business models and creating new jobs across the country.”

The Government will respond to the review in due course, but for now I would like to thank Debbie Wosskow for all her hard work and for flying the flag for these exciting, new online businesses, which pump money into households and make life easier for people.

Sharing economy trade body?

The idea of a trade body for UK sharing economy startups is one that has featured in the news recently.

Two weeks ago, a number of sharing economy startups announced the launch of UKShareCo, a trade body that fulfills many of the requirements Wosskow outlines in her report.

Paul Savident, cofounder of RentMyItems and founding member of the body, commented that the organisation is “delighted” that the report calls for industry representation. He added:

With a combined front, through UKShare.co, we aim to assist in ensuring the UK Sharing Economy is the global leader.

Room for growth

It is estimated that 25% of UK adults are already sharing online and that global revenues in the sharing economy could rise from £9 billion today to £230 billion in 2025.

Wosskow explained:

The Sharing Economy is one of tremendous growth, both in the UK and around the world, and today’s report seeks to examine both the social and economic potential of these new businesses.

From carpooling to shared office space, the sharing economy sector is undoubtedly coming of age and we hope that today’s recommendations will allow the UK Government to both fully embrace and correctly regulate this space, as there is a great opportunity here for the UK to be at the forefront of the global sharing economy.