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Upcoming Autumn Budget

Industry Leaders Urge Government To Support Contractors Ahead Of Upcoming Autumn Budget

The upcoming Autumn Budget will be announced on Wednesday 22 November 2017 and word is starting to spread that the chancellor is looking to announce some “bold” ideas, suggesting that extending the public sector’s off-payroll rules to the private sector can’t be entirely ruled out.

From their review of the IR35 Forum minutes, from July 2017, ContractorCalculator noted that: ”HMRC explained that the current focus is on embedding the recent reform, and that it was not possible to comment on the plans of the new administration. However, we do of course want to see compliance improve in the private sector.”

In response the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) have put forward its submission to urge the government to seize the opportunity to support contractors which it is hoping will help turn the tide on a policy agenda which has done little to support self-employment of late.

IPSE chief executive, Chris Bryce, said:

“I would be pleasantly surprised if there was any good news in the next Budget for contractors, however, our recommendations have been carefully thought out and we’re hoping that it will help the government see sense and begin to offer more support to the UK’s contractors and freelancers.”

Bryce continues:

“We’re fully opposed to any further changes in the immediate future. The government has tinkered with IR35 for years and years, and they still can’t get it right. The public sector reforms are just the latest demonstration of this. We’re urging the government to put everything on hold until they have time to sit down with people like us – people who know what they’re doing – and get it sorted.”

Similarly, the non-profit making trade body for umbrella companies, PRISM has urged the government to think over any plans to extend IR35 rules to the private sector. Crawford Temple, CEO of PRISM, argues that “The long-term answer is a structural reform of the tax system rather than a sticking plaster approach of tweaking rules.”

Finally, at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester earlier this month, IPSE’s policy director Simon McVicker talked about the value and flexibility of self-employment shortly before introducing the event’s guest speaker: The Chancellor Philip Hammond.

McVicker told the event: “We have an extremely vibrant small business community of nearly 5 million people working as one-person companies or self-employed. They contribute £255 billion to the UK economy every year – enough to fund the NHS two times over – whilst keeping our unemployment at the lowest levels in Europe.

“From the newest freelancer to the most established corporate giant, we, the UK’s businesses, are a major force in driving the country through the uncharted waters ahead, and we would urge you and the government to do everything in its power to support us.”

 

If you or any contractors you know are concerned about the recent IR35 reforms, please get in touch to speak with one of our experienced consultants.

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