Thursday 9 February 2017 7:10 pm

The UK sharing economy's set to grow by billions this year despite scrutiny

The popularity of on-demand services such as Uber, Deliveroo and Airbnb is set to boom, with the value of the UK's sharing economy predicted to grow my more than 60 per cent this year.

Despite scrutiny from government, the desire for services at the tap of a smartphone app will continue according to the research from PwC, which has also significantly upped its longer term forecast for the industry.

Read more: A gig economy inquiry by MPs hears a tale of two Uber drivers

It expects the sharing economy to be worth £140bn by 2025, up from last year's forecast of £13bn, in areas such as ​collaborative finance, peer-to-peer accommodation, transportation, on-demand household services and on-demand professional services. And uptake among older users rather than the typical "digital native" could spur that growth the most.

MPs are investigating the so-called gig economy and the rights workers in these industries have, while the government launched its own review of employment law in light of the new economy.

But, businesses are expected to respond to such scrutiny with self-regulation.

Read more: We've hit peak gig economy, according to JP Morgan

“Trust will continue to be the key sharing economy issue in 2017. To tackle this, we expect platforms to implement proactive new forms of self-regulation this year. The interaction between the sharing economy and the tax system is also set to move into the spotlight, as the implications of legal cases become clearer," said PwC economist Rob Vaughan.

“Policy makers will need to show a bold appetite to try new policy approaches and foster a spirit of collaboration between all stakeholders to find the right balance between protection and flexibility.”

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