Contractor Questions IPSE Should Ask
Here are some contractor questions IPSE should ask the Conservative party.
IPSE are the main group for UK freelancers and so it is crucial that they ask the various parties their policies that will affect contractors.
As the Conservative Party’s policies on contractors are the best known, they can start with them.
Will You Raise National Insurance for Contractors?
In Chancellor Hammond’s last budget he implemented a proposal from Matthew Taylor to raise National Insurance for freelancers. He withdrew it as it was in the Manifesto that the Conservatives would not raise National Insurance.
Will there be a promise in the Conservatives’ Manifesto this time not to raise National Insurance?
If there isn’t, will you re-instate the National Insurance rise for contractors now that it doesn’t break a Manifesto promise.
Note:- Because of its withdrawal, Chancellor Hammond now has a £2bn hole in his budget which he says he will claw back in his Autumn Budget.
The simplest way to plug this would be by re-instating the National Insurance rises.
Do You Intend Making Freelancers and Permanent Employees Pay Exactly the Same Tax?
Both Prime Minister May and Chancellor Hammond said that it is unfair that a freelancer who earns £100,000 pays less tax and National Insurance than a permanent employee who earns £100,000. They said that they intend to correct that ‘anomaly’.
Will it be your intention in the next Parliament to fix this ‘anomaly’?
Will You Roll the Recent IR35 Changes in the Public Sector out into the Private Sector in the next Parliament?
Recently you changed the IR35 rules in the public sector. Freelancers can no longer determine their own IR35 Status. It is now decided by the Government departments with whom they contract.
This will help you achieve your objective of fixing the anomaly where contractors pay less tax and national insurance in the public sector?
Do you believe that this applies equally in the private sector?
So, do you intend fixing this ‘anomaly in the private sector too? If so, when do you intend to implement this in the private sector?
Do you intend to cut the number of freelancers who are incorporating?
Chancellor Hammond said in his Spring Budget that too many of the self employed are incorporating just for the purpose of cutting their tax bill.
So, do you intend to make it more difficult for freelancers to incorporate?
Will you make the Definition of Self Employment stricter and more narrow?
You commissioned a report from Matthew Taylor on the future of Self Employment in the modern age.
Newspaper reports are saying that he is going to recommend that the definition of self employment will become tighter and that fewer freelancers will qualify as self-employed.
If that is the case, will you implement his proposals on it?
As the election will take place on June 8th and the Matthew Taylor Report is due later in June, would it be possible to have an interim report prior to the election?
Contractor Questions IPSE Conclusion
I’m sure that there are other contractor questions IPSE could come up with to quiz the Government on. However, it would be worth hearing what the Government say about these questions.
IPSE should try to get Yes and No answers to those questions.
Let me guess some of the answer the Government might make.
“We have no plans to increase National Insurance for Contractors”.
This is a device that politicians use so that they don’t have to say Yes or No. It gives them wriggle room.
However, as they wanted to do it previously and only stopped because they had a promise in their manifesto not to raise NI, then you can assume that, if that promise is not in the Manifesto this time around, that there will be nothing to stop them raising National Insurance for contractors in the Autum Budget – and they will.