The Hammer of UK Contractors
There’s a man who appears to hate Contractors more than anyone else in Britain, if you go by his actions.
In 2010, the Professional Contractors Group (or IPSE as it is now), rushed out a press release, just before that election, telling contractors and contractor websites that the Conservatives had promised to look at IR35 again.
They appeared to believe that this was a major breakthrough.
Of course, the Conservatives were giving winks and nods to the PCG and the gullible management team bought it.
Promise to Ipse Kept by Conservatives
This was one promise that he Conservatives did keep.
They did ‘look at’ IR35 again – and decided to keep it.
That must have come as a bit of a shock to IPSE.
Now, after they have got rid of the LibDems, the Conservatives are showing their fangs – and it is to the UK’s freelance community.
Chancellor Osborne and UK Contractors
Let’s look at Chancellor Osborne’s record here.
Firstly, when he got into office he decided that he would keep IR35.
Secondly, he said that he was now going to STRENGTHEN IR35.
To that purpose, he hired 36 more IR35 Compliance Officers based at Croydon, Salford and Edinburgh, when over 10,000 staff were being laid off at HMRC.
Thirdly, he announced in the Budget that contractors, whether in umbrella companies or personalservcie companies, would no longer be allowed to claim for travel and subsistence against tax when travelling to work and maybe staying overnight.
Now comes the coupd de gras.
Contracting Abolished in the UK
Two newspapers, the Guardian and Mail, obviously after being briefed by the Treasury, have said that the Chancellor wants to more or less abolish the contracting profession altogether.
What he is proposing is that all contractors who have been at a company for more than a month should be on the payroll of that company, i.e. be permanent employees of that company, effectively.
It seems that 90% of current contractors are likely to be affected by this.
The contracting profession is sure to shrink massively.
Companies would be far less likely to take on contractors if they had to take them onto the payroll.
So, it is a qaudruple whammy on UK contractors by the Chancellor.
New Labour and Contractors
Contractors used to think that Labour were bad and had it in for them with the introduction of IR35 and the Fast Track Visa system mainly for foreign IT workers.
However, the Conservatives are much worse – especially as they are not now constrained by the LibDems.
It looks as if no one has it in for UK Contractors more than George Osborne, the Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The man who hates contractors?
Step forward George Osborne.
Before the election, most contractors on the ContractorUK forum were staunch Tory supporters. They also believed that the govt. only had it in for “aggressive tax avoiders”.
It’s taken a while, but they are slowly realising the govt. has interests in the big consultancies and they will do anything to destroy the competition. IR35 is their greatest weapon, why would they get rid of it?
I’ve been shouting this from the rooftops for what seems like eternity. But as IT scientists are “proof-driven” people, they had to wait for the results back from the lab….
… well here they are.
Yes I remember the rabid tone of the PCG Forums. They thought that they and the Tories are as one. However, the Toriy hieracrhy look after their own like those keeping their money offshore but they don’t see contractors as ‘their own’. The rabid Tory contractors were actually on the outside when they thought they were on the inside.
They are learning now thaht they are seen as just oiks trying to avoid tax.
Good article. Yes sadly the Tories have turned on the people who are their natural allies – hard working self-starters. Sort of people the press hate, and we’ll never get any sympathy like the tax credit moaners. I see the PCG are jumping on the bandwagon as usual – about as useful as a chocolate teapot. People only join that organisation because of the cheap insurance lol
What was it Andy White, their founder said about the PCG after they removed him uncermoniously? He said that they had reached positions of influence, and had access to the high and mighty through the PCG, well beyond what they had the ability to achieve in their business careers.
Political parties do succumb to pressure as we see from newspaper campaigns. Unfortunately the PCG, now IPSE, haven’t been able to put any on them so they feel emboldened to act against contractros who they see as soft targets. withou fear of any political fallout.
Unfortunately I am planning to move out this country if there are no opportunities of contractors and feels like government targeting hard working people and will be squeezing more and more from them rather than big enterprises which are not pay even tax as we do as personal service companies.