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Fall in UK inflation will benefit self-employed, but government policy on IR35 still a major concern

IPSE has welcomed the fall in UK inflation, but warned that government IR35 tax policy is still a major worry for self-employed people.

Office of National Statistics (ONS) data released today showed that inflation fell from 2.7 per cent in August to 2.4 per cent in September. The fall was largely driven by lower prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Andy Chamberlain, IPSE’s Deputy Director of Policy, commented: “The drop in inflation will be welcomed by many across the UK because it means that people will feel more money in their pocket. That means income, in real terms, is higher.

"IPSE’s freelancer Confidence Index, a quarterly survey which tracks the income, confidence and attitudes of the self-employed, has shown a moderate decline in earnings this year. Despite this, business confidence has returned to positive values. Perhaps this can partly be explained by the greater than expected dip in inflation.

“It’s good news for the self-employed and the wider country that inflation is falling towards the Bank of England’s target rate of two per cent. However, there are dark clouds on the horizon. There is still no clear plan to mitigate any effects of Brexit on the self-employed, and government policy on IR35 is highly likely to slow down growth in the sector.

“The government should prioritise the wellbeing of the self-employed sector as we enter this crucial time for the economy. That means reversing its position on IR35 changes in the private sector, or, at the very least, delaying any changes until 2020 at the earliest.”

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