It’s National Freelancers Day today. David Cameron sends a message out across the country to Freelancers everywhere telling them how much he appreciates them.
He called freelancers “the engine of our economy”.
He said, “Our country owes a huge debt of gratitude to the thousands of men and women who have decided to make their living as freelancers and entrepreneurs”.
It sounds as though he is congratulating The Few after the Battle of Britain.
Lifeblood of Our Country
He continued “You have not only taken your own future into your own hands, but you are the engine of our economy and economic revival. Indeed, SMEs are the very lifeblood of our country and of local communities across the land.
“My very best wishes on National Freelancers’ Day.”
Of course, this is the same David Cameron who led the Professional Contractors Group to believe that he would abolish IR35 if he came to power as his Coalition partners the LibDems did.
Although all he said was that the Conservatives would ‘look at’ IR35 again.
He set up an IR35 Panel to look at it again. The panel recommended that IR35 should be kept. They said that many freelancers would leave their Umbrella Companies and set up as Limited Company contractors again.
There are 200,000 freelancers operating out of Umbrella Companies now. They pay an average of Â£10,000 a year more in tax than Limited Company contractors. That’s an extra Â£2 billion a year for the Treasury.
The Government were happy to take that recommendation.
Of course it was naive to believe, especially at a time when they were making cutbacks, for the Government to hand back Â£2bn a year to people making Â£400 a day.
However, that doesn’t excuse Cameron and Osborne from giving winks and nods, prior to the last election, that they would abolish it.
The poor old PCG believed them and rushed out a Press Release just prior to the last election hailing their achievement in getting the Conservatives to ‘look at’ IR35 again.
Not only did they not abolish it but George Osborne, in his budget, said that they would STRENGTHEN IR35. They didn’t tell the PCG that before the last election.
At a time when they were cutting back 56,000 staff at HMRC they set up a new IR35 Compliance Team of 36 people operating out of Edinburgh, Salford and Croydon to pursue freelancers over IR35.
So, it’s nice that he sees Freelancers as the engine of the economy. However, this man has ‘form’ over IR35 and other freelancing matters as Labour did before him.
Note:- Contractor accountants should be asked by contractors for advice.