October’s Member Meet-Up: The Chancellor’s budget and what it means for you

In our latest IPSE Member Meet-Up's on the budget, members reacted to the Chancellor’s autumn Budget statement, reflecting on a lack of annoucements or even acknolowdgement of the self-employed whilst also giving their thoughts on changes to air passenger and alcohol duties and the omission of IR35.

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A budget failing to recognise the self-employed

The discussion initially allowed for members to provide their thoughts on the contents of the Chancellor’s budget statement, with many echoing IPSE’s immediate reaction focusing on the omission of the self-employed.

Read how IPSE responded to the Autumn budget statement here.

In particular, frustrations were expressed over how investment in training and skills failed to include the entire labour market, regardless of employment status.

Similarly, other policy announcements such as raising the national minimum wage and investment in research and development were also seen to only benefit employees rather than those working for themselves and small businesses.

Worries over Employer’s National Insurance and IR35 omissions

The meeting also facilitated discussion on the planned Health and Social care levy, which the government announced back in September and will see National Insurance contributions increase by 1.25 per cent for both employer’s and employee’s, those paying Class 4 and also on dividend tax.

We heard how concerns over having to cover the liability of Employers’ National Insurance and, where applicable, the Apprenticeship Levy when caught inside-IR35 were not eased by the Chancellor’s statement.

Similarly, whilst members were pleased to hear that a follow-up inquiry into IR35 has been announced by the House of Lords Finance Bill Sub-committee, members were also disappointed that the budget made no reference to reviewing the damaging reforms on the sector.

Climate contradiction

Members also expressed their surprise at the reduction to Air Passenger Duty for domestic flights – especially when the UK government is setting out the net zero plan for the country and hosting the COP20 climate conference in Glasgow.

Whilst members broadly agreed that the changes to alcohol duty seemed fairly reasonable, some noted that a great deal of time in the statement was allocated to the reforms when the Chancellor neglected to even recognise, let alone tackle, the difficulties facing the self-employment sector.

Get involved

IPSE Member Meet-Ups run on the last Thursday of each month and allow members to discuss and learn from each other’s experiences, but also inform our policies, research work and more.

Spaces are limited to 30 to keep the sessions manageable, so if you’re interested in joining we recommend signing up early. Keep an eye out for an email about next month’s – coming soon.

Upcoming events

IPSE organises, supports and collaborates on over 100 events every year, from practical webinars, networking events and conferences. IPSE sources experts in their field to support the self-employed, with the events covering a wide range of topics.

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Meet the author

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Joshua Toovey

Senior Research and Policy Officer