Consultation on tax-free training for self-employed a major victory for IPSE


The consultations announced in the Spring Statement are a major victory for IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed), it has said. In the Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond acted not only on IPSE’s warnings about the problem of late payments, but also on its calls for tax-free training for the self-employed.

IPSE is the only organisation that has been campaigning to make training tax-free for the self-employed, as it is for employees. As its report on vulnerable work has shown, one of the biggest barriers to vulnerable self-employed people improving their circumstances is poor access to training. The Government’s decision to consult on extending tax-free training to the self-employed is therefore a significant victory for IPSE, and something for the wider self-employed community to celebrate.

In terms of the other victory for IPSE and the self-employed, it is well known that late payments are an ongoing blight on the flexible labour market. As IPSE’s own research has shown, freelancers spend approximately 20 days a year chasing invoices for late payments. It is therefore excellent news that the Government has heeded IPSE’s calls to crack down on late payments by launching a consultation to find new ways – beyond the office of Small Business Commissioner – to tackle this problem.

Chris Bryce, IPSE’s CEO, commented: “IPSE can certainly take the Spring Statement as a victory. We have been campaigning long and hard both on tax-free training and on clamping down on late payments for the self-employed. Late and non-paying clients have been causing significant problems for freelance and self-employed people for far too long. And although the appointment of a Small Business Commissioner (something else IPSE campaigned hard for) was an excellent start, this is another very positive step in the right direction.

“Tax-free training is, if anything, an even bigger victory for IPSE and the self-employed. Not only is it unjust that self-employed people don’t have the same relief for training as employees; our research has also shown that lack of access to training is also one of the biggest factors holding back struggling, vulnerable self-employed people. The consultation on tax-free training is, therefore, cause for celebration for self-employed people across the UK.

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