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IPSE congratulates Johnson but says if he wants a globally competitive UK, he must get behind freelancers

IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has congratulated Boris Johnson on being elected as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the UK and urged him to make the economy more competitive by supporting the self-employed.  

To keep our economy flexible and competitive in the run-up to Brexit, IPSE urged Mr Johnson to work with the self-employed sector and give it the support it needs. To support freelancers, it urged Mr Johnson to:

  • A modern tax system for the self-employed: the UK’s overly complex tax system needs clarifying and updating for the modern age and rising self-employment. We believe the government should begin by scrapping the damaging changes to IR35 in the private sector. 
  • Promote British business and entrepreneurialism: at present, the UK’s nearest trading partner, Ireland, has a corporation tax rate of 12.5 per cent. For the UK to remain competitive and a good place to do business, we recommend the government should equalise corporation tax with Ireland. 
  • Reduce the retrospective nature of the loan charge: Current measures to tackle the loan charge include the targeting of arrangements made up to twenty years ago. We believe the government should reduce this to six years, which is the standard for tax investigations. We also believe the government should focus more on the companies that sold these schemes in its efforts to clamp down on the loan charge.
  • Late payment: freelancers spend an average of 20 days per year chasing late payment and, in some sectors, lose an average of £5000 per year to clients who fail to pay. We hope the new government will continue to strengthen the role of the Small Business Commissioner to stamp this out.
  • Broadband infrastructure: entrepreneurism could be unleashed across the UK, from cities to rural villages, if they have access to consistent, superfast broadband. Currently, adequate coverage is limited to urban hubs. We recommend super-fast broadband service being available for all by 2025.
  • Support disabled freelancers: disabled people are one in seven of all freelancers but overlooked in the previous Prime Minister’s disability action plan launched June 25th 2019 and in welfare reforms. We would like to see the New Enterprise Allowance mentoring and payments extended to two years to better support disabled entrepreneurs.

IPSE has asked the new Prime Minister to work with them to make the UK a better place to be self-employed.

Chris Bryce, IPSE’s CEO, said: 

“We wish Mr Johnson well as he prepares to form his new Conservative Government tomorrow. We hope he once again makes them the party of business. Small and micro businesses in particular have been hit by poorly thought through policies like IR35 and the Loan Charge, which are a massive drag on the flexible and innovative economy that the UK needs to be.

“If he wants to energise the country and make the UK truly globally competitive, he and his new team must get behind our most can-do and productive people: the £275bn self-employed sector.”

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IPSE is the leading association for contractors, consultants, interims, freelancers and the self-employed. We strive to bring our members the most comprehensive and useful range of information and services and all the latest news about what affects your business.

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