News is reaching us here at a rainy UCHQ that the Government may be set for a few more fireworks than even Guy Fawkes managed way back in 1605.
Voice of many, Contractor UK, has summoned the troops in the form of a group of other contractor allies, and has written to every individual MP throughout the country, requesting that they oppose the planned IR35 changes that are due to take place from April 2020.The letter urges MPs to take three actions to halt the planned changes.
Given the imminent general election taking place next month, writing to and asking MPs to take action now, at a time where voters could be swayed is something of a genius move that could actually lead to some positive change.
Seeing how many large firms are already laying off contractors as a result of the imminent IR35 changes, it’s being asked in the letter that MPs:
- Oppose the move and vote against it being included in any finance bill
- Support an HMR- led review to look at how best to recognise contractors and freelancers and the tax system that supports them
- That the MP asks their party to oppose those moves in totality
- To call for a suspension of all HMRC activity related to the Loan Charge
The letter goes on to highlight the effect on mental health that the Loan Charge has already had on people (and the 7 suicides that have been linked to it), the moves that some companies are making to hire offshore workers, and the imminent redundancies and winding down of long-held freelance contracts and the lack of benefits for those affected. HMRC themselves have admitted that 153,000 contractors will see a pay cut as a result of IR35 and that many of the more highly skilled contractors are already making plans to emigrate and take their skills and services where they are needed and are not going to be subject to cuts of up to 1/5 of their income.
The issue is that with IR35, nothing is black and white.
While of course, here at UCHQ we are fully supportive of the many benefits that hiring an Umbrella Company can bring to the self-employed, we do recognise that for others, it just isn’t something that should be forced upon them. And not all Umbrella Companies are the same. There are still many strong reasons that a great value umbrella company can help and not hinder freelancers and save them the time that they can better spend making money.
We’ll see what comes of it over the coming months, but we do wholeheartedly support the notion that being able to freelance how people please, without the government making people’s lives harder than they already are is something we are fully behind.