IPSE Budget submission calls on Chancellor to stop IR35 roll-out and support the self-employed

IPSE has written to Chancellor Sajid Javid ahead of the March Budget calling for a stop to the roll-out of the proposed changes to IR35 in the private sector.

The letter outlines the risks to the Exchequer of pressing ahead with the proposed April roll-out. It warns that neither businesses nor contractors are prepared for the changes, while the evidence from the public sector roll-out has not been fully considered.

IPSE is now urging the government to delay the April implementation and instead think more boldly, with a fundamental review of the small business tax system to ensure a fairer deal for freelancers.

With the number of self-employed people in the UK now past the five million mark, IPSE’s submission also calls on government to:

  • Tackle the culture of late payment by delivering more funding and powers to the Small Business Commissioner so that freelancers stop losing time and money chasing up unpaid work
  • Help the self-employed save for later life by working with industry to find tailored products for freelancers, such as the sidecar pension, to help them put money away for retirement
  • Give the self-employed a hand up on to the housing market and encourage lenders to recognise them as a growing market of would-be homeowners that face barriers to accessing mortgages
  • Level-up parental support for freelancers by extending Shared Parental Leave (SPL) to the self-employed and reviewing the parental support available to bring them in line with employees

Andy Chamberlain, Deputy Director of Policy and External Affairs at IPSE, said: This Budget comes at a vital moment to rebuild business confidence and kickstart economic activity.

“IPSE shares this government’s ambition to create a high-wage, high-skill, low-tax economy with a focus on productivity and rebalanced growth. We believe self-employment has a critical role to play in achieving this.

“However, pressing ahead with the roll-out of IR35 to the private sector risks damaging both contractors and the economy more widely as businesses feel less able to use flexible, specialist workers.

“A new government should be thinking boldly about big reforms to our tax system and building other policies – from late payment to pensions and parental support – that help to champion our modern flexible labour market.”

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