The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) is calling on its membership and other contracting professionals to write to their MPs explaining why “disastrous” IR35 reforms in the public sector should not be extended to the private sector.
Citing a flurry of media reports suggesting that the Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond is about to roll out a set of reformed (and “extremely damaging”) public sector IR35 rules to the private sector, IPSE boldly asserts that it plans to continue leading the charge against this development. The organisation, which predominantly represents skilled contracting professionals, has in its recent budget submission stressed the havoc that has already been wreaked in the public sector by the rebooted IR35 legislation. The submission also warned against extending the changes to the private sector.
In addition, IPSE has written directly to the Chancellor, as well as key Conservative MPs across Britain, highlighting the risks to the self-employed, the economy and even the British Government that such an ill-considered extension will likely produce.
The next stage in IPSE’s campaign is to ask its members and other contracting professionals to “help hammer home the message” to MPs by writing to their local parliamentary representative, itemising the severely detrimental effects that the reforms have had on the public sector and the contracting professionals upon which it depends.
IPSE urges contractors to help ensure that “the Government cannot be allowed to make the same mistake in the private sector”.
The organisation has produced a sample letter, available here, so that contractors can highlight the crucial points.
The letter informs MPs that extending the rules to the private sector would force contracting correspondents out of business. It also details how transferring responsibility for determining tax status from the individual contractor to the public sector end-client has resulted in thousands of questionable determinations and panic-driven blanket redesignations to employee status for tax purposes — despite contractors having none of the statutory employment benefits that these increased taxes finance.
Citing the British Medical Association’s declaration that “IR35 has been an administrative disaster for the NHS”, the letter concludes:
“It is almost as if the Conservatives are declaring war on a hard-working group that just manages to get by. As your constituent, I urge you to raise these points with the Treasury ahead of the Autumn Budget, and do everything in your power to prevent a policy that would be a disaster both for self-employed people like me and for the wider economy.”
Contractors wishing to write to their local MP can find their details here.