Contractors IR35 Call to Political Parties
There’s a contractors IR35 call to politicians of the Conservative Party, Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats. There are 5m self employed. They make up around 12% of the votes in an constituency. That’s a lot of votes – and they are very soft votes too. They could switch very easily if a good promise is made on IR35.
Who wants our votes? They could make a huge difference in the coming election – and there is still time to get them. However, time is very short. You need to reach out to us now.
I do believe that the political parties are now starting to take notice of freelancers and the IR35 issue.
Questions on Contractors IR35 Call
- What will most influence contractors votes?
- Which party will contractors vote for?
- What are the Liberal Democrats offering on IR35?
- What are Labour offering freelancers on IR35?
- What did Rebecca Long-Bailey offer freelancers on IR35?
- What is the Labour Party’s policy on IR35?
- How did the Conservative Party trick contractors previously on IR35?
- What future plans do the Conservatives have for IR35?
- How should Contractors view this offer of an IR35 Review by the Conservative Party?
- What would contractors IR35 call to the Labour party be?
- Could an IR35 Promise to the Self Employed change the election?
- What would contractors IR35 call to the Lib Dems be?
What will most influence contractors votes
A poll on his website asked the following question.
What will most influence your vote at the election?
There were 254 responses and they voted as follows:-
64% – IR35
25% – Brexit
6% – Other
5% – National Health Service
Another poll we had on Twitter gave similar results:-
67% – IR35
29% – Brexit
3% – Other
2% – NHS
Which party will contractors vote for
We also asked the question on a Twitter Poll “Freelancers, which party will you vote for on Dec 12th?” The responses were as follows:-
52% – Lib Dems
22% – Labour
18% – Conservatives
8% – Other
I would say to the parties that there is an issue much bigger than Brexit or the NHS to contractors and that is IR35. The vote is very soft here.
The flexible workforce has a highly flexible vote and could switch en masse before polling day. The freelance vote could mostly swing behind one party who offered something major on IR35.
What are the Liberal Democrats offering on IR35
The Lib Dems currently stand to take more than half of the freelance vote as they are offering the most and have been most sympathetic in the past.
That doesn’t include the SNP who are the most sympathetic of the lot but who are only running in Scotland obviously.
The Lib Dems were the first to offer something, a review of IR35 and a delay in when the IR35 reforms are implemented until the review reports. Current implementation date is April 2020.
The SNP say that the implementation of the IR35 reforms in the private sector should be delayed till contractors’ issues with it have been addressed.
What are Labour offering freelancers on IR35
Now the two main parties, the Conservatives and Labour Party are both offering reviews of IR35.
Indeed, some in Labour seem to want to offer more in a ‘Hail Mary play’ as the clock ticks down to election day.
Twice Labour have gone further before rowing back. Firstly Bill Esterson, the Shadow Spokesman for Small Business told a meeting set up by IPSE that Labour would not roll out the IR35 reforms in April 2020.
He was asked to clarify that and did.
However, the next day he deleted all tweets about it on his Twitter feed.
What did Rebecca Long-Bailey offer freelancers on IR35
Then, on Friday, Rebecca Long-Bailey, who is tipped to be the next Labour Party leader, told Rachel Burden of Radio Five Live’s Breakfast Show that:-
“We do have serious concerns about IR35, and it is something that’s come up in various business meetings that I’ve had with small businesses and self-employed people particularly, and it is something we are going to look at.”
Rachel Burden (Radio 5 Live): “So, you’re gonna look at it, but there’s no absolute commitment as to whether you are going to scrap it for the private sector?”
Rebecca Long-Bailey (Labour): “No, there is. I think we need to have a system in place that is fair for the self-employed, and IR35 certainly doesn’t work for them, so we will be working with the self-employed themselves and the organisations representing them, such as the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) for example, to look at a system that is fair, because that system is certainly not fair and it’s causing a lot of anguish to those who are self-employed.”
Rachel Burden (Radio 5 Live): “So, just for absolutely clarity, under a Labour Government, this would not apply in the private sector from April 2020.”
Rebecca Long-Bailey (Labour): “Well, certainly we don’t think it will, no, but we need to have a system in place that is fair.”
Rachel Burden (Radio 5 Live): “That’s not absolute clarity.”
Rebecca Long-Bailey (Labour): “Well, it is, absolute clarity, but what we are saying is that we need to consult on a system that is fair for those businesses, but we don’t think IR35 is appropriate, so no.”
What is the Labour Party’s policy on IR35
However, unfortunately this doesn’t appear to be written down Labour policy. This is as follows:-
- Tackle all forms of tax avoidance and to close down tax loopholes that cost the public purse billions of pounds per year.
- Make sure those who are genuinely self-employed deserve to be properly supported, whilst also ensuring that everyone pays the fair amount of tax.
- Bringing the private sector into line with the public sector in Off-Payroll Working Rules (IR35) will increase the total tax take between 2018-19 and 2023-24 by an estimated £3 billion. This is roughly equivalent to the cost of restoring nursing bursaries.
- Off-Payroll Working Rules (IR35) will NOT apply to the self-employed.
- Off-Payroll Working Rules (IR35) will NOT apply to the smallest 1.5 million businesses.
- Off-Payroll Working Rules (IR35) will NOT be applied retrospectively.
So, all they are really offering is a review.
How did the Conservative Party trick contractors previously on IR35
The Conservatives have offered a review as well now. However, they have form on this.
In 2010 Cameron and Osborne told contractors and contractors group IPSE (ex-PCG) privately that they would abolish IR35. They put in their Manifesto that they would ‘look at’ IR35 again. IPSE rushed out a Press Release stating this.
They were as good as their word. Yes, they did look at IR35 again – and decided not only to keep it but to strengthen it. They have been doing this ever since.
What future plans do the Conservatives have for IR35
Indeed, it looks as if they are not just satisfied about rolling out the IR35 reforms in the private sector in April 2020 but have plans to go much further.
Let’s see what they said in the Queen’s speech a few weeks ago.
“We will increase fairness and and flexibility in the labour market by stopping employers and workers experiencing significantly different outcomes from flexible forms of working.”
Can anyone guess who they are talking about and what that means?
Add in Treasury Minister Jesse Norman saying recently when answering a question in Parliament on IR35 “There is only 10% compliance in this area”.
One presumes he, Boris and Sajid intend to make the other 90% ‘compliant’ too. After all these years of IR35 they still believe that only one in ten contractors are compliant with IR35.
How should Contractors view this offer of an IR35 Review by the Conservative Party
So, this review of IR35 that they are promising is a very, very sudden U Turn. But like last time there is nothing definite about it. So unless you think Boris Johnson is more trustworthy and more likely to fulfill promises than Cameron and Osborne this must be treated with the utmost suspicion.
So, I say to the Conservatives Party “you are going to have to do better than that this time around. You need to offer something definite. A ‘review’ is no good. That’s not much difference to ‘look at’.
Who knows, the review may recommend that you strengthen IR35 again. As you know, you already have plans to do that anyway.
That’s contractors IR35 call to the Conservatives.
What would contractors IR35 call to the Labour party be
Contractors IR35 call to the Labour Party would be that there are loads and loads of votes that you could receive up and down the country if you would just promise something definite on IR35.
Freelancers would like the IR35 reforms to be scrapped altogether. However, the bare minimum would be to cancel the April 2020 implementation till you talk to freelancers and other interested parties.
No poll has shown the Conservatives with a lead of less than 6% and some have shown as much as a 19% lead.
All of the polls show an overall majority to the Tories.
Most people have already made their minds up about Brexit and who they will vote for.
Could an IR35 Promise to the Self Employed change the election
However, there are 5m self employed most of whom could switch their votes at the drop of a hat if you were to offer them something positive on IR35. The Lib Dems are polling 40% more among freelancers than among voters generally.
Most of that 40% would switch if they got a better IR35 deal from any of the parties.
What about it Labour? This could be your get out of jail card. This could be your ‘Hail Mary’ pass. But the offer has to be concrete. Say after me “we will cancel the roll out of IR35 in April 2020 till we have addressed contractor issues.”
That wasn’t too hard was it?
Say it a few times till you get used to it. Tell Jeremy Corbyn to say it too.
It’s your last great chance. Indeed it is your only chance. Saying that one sentence could be a complete game changer.
What would contractors IR35 call to the Lib Dems be
I would say to the Liberal Democrats that although they have 54% of the self employed vote (at the moment) all they are really offering is a Review – which the other two main parties are offering now.
You need something more concrete.
That’s contractors IR35 call to the Lib Dems.
By the way the Brexit Party say they will abolish IR35 – and they are only 326 seats away from being to implement this
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