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Summer Statement slammed for ignoring freelancers and contractors

Chancellor criticised for overlooking independent workers yet again

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has been slammed by industry experts for failing to mention contractors or any of the UK’s 5m self-employed workers in the Summer Statement, which was criticised for overlooking the needs of the independent workforce.

In what was described as a ‘mini-Budget’, Rishi Sunak outlined £30bn worth of Government spend to kickstart the flailing economy. However, freelancers, contractors and self-employed workers were once again “overlooked when it matters”, CEO of Qdos, Seb Maley explained.

Instead, the Chancellor’s speech focused on jobs, with the Government desperate to prevent a dramatic increase in unemployment when the furlough scheme ends. A job creation plan, Stamp Duty holiday and significant VAT cut for hospitality and leisure were also notable announcements.

Job Retention Bonus unveiled

Having confirmed the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will end in October, the Chancellor revealed a Job Retention Bonus, which he hopes will stop unemployment climbing further. As part of this bonus, employers will receive a £1000 grant per employee (paid over £520 per month) they keep on until the end of January 2021. Further details are expected at the end of July. 

But whilst IPSE said the Job Retention Bonus was one of “many positive measures to boost the economy”, Director of Policy Andy Chamberlain also pointed out that millions of self-employed workers claiming via the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) “are left to face a cliff-edge in August. Some freelancers relying on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) may benefit from the sectoral support announced today, but many more will not.”

Chamberlain then called on the Chancellor to “introduce a tapered end to SEISS to address the clear imbalance between employees and the self-employed.”

‘Kickstart Scheme’ rolled out

Several job creation measures were also announced as part of a £2bn ‘Kickstart Scheme’ that will cover the costs of six month work placements for 16 to 24 year olds currently claiming Universal Credit. The Government will also pay businesses £1000 per trainee under 24, while employers in England will receive £2000 for every apprentice under 25 brought on and £1,500 for an apprentice over 25 hired. This starts in August for six months.

Stamp Duty holiday announced 

The other standout development in the Summer Statement was the cut to Stamp Duty, which will not apply to property bought for up to £500,000 until 31st March 2021. Zoopla has estimated this will apply to as many as 89% of property purchases and is something that Simon Butler, Director of contractor mortgage firm, CMME, said “will allow many buyers to boost their deposit fund. This can only be seen as a positive move for the housing sector and the mortgage market.”

VAT reduced for hospitality and leisure

A significant VAT cut was extended to specific areas of the hospitality and leisure sectors, both of which have been at a standstill since lockdown restrictions were enforced in March. VAT for certain businesses operating in these sectors will drop dramatically, from 20% down to 5% for six months. 

As welcome as many of these measures are, according to IPSE, there’s no hiding from the fact that Stamp Duty aside, there’s very little for contractors – who are preparing for the certain rollout of IR35 reform in 2021 – to take from the Summer Statement. Andy Chamberlain touched on this, urging the Chancellor to “adopt policies that will back” independent professionals, “like limited companies and the newly self-employed, who missed out on support during lockdown.”

By Contractor Weekly

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16 thoughts on “Summer Statement slammed for ignoring freelancers and contractors”

  1. JB Taylor

    Nobody cares about a load of overpaid, tax dodging scroungers. Deal with it you self important whingers.

    • Dino

      JB Taylor – what a prick!

    • Sharon

      You know nothing, JB Taylor. Overpaid, tax-dodging scroungers is something we most definitely are not. We are probably the most hard-working people, who accept all the risks and costs of working without security and being treated as non-persons by the organisations who benefit from our taking on those risks and costs. Do your homework before judging people, you ignorant fool.

      • Dino

        I would ignore her, I think she is just a jealous Troll.

      • JB Taylor

        You command a higher rate which more than makes up for these perceived “disadvantages”. Why should
        You also get preferential tax treatment ?

        Half of you join schemes which are an antithesis to the social contract and rely on aggressively avoiding tax which is so far outside the spirit of the law it’s a joke … loan schemes, DTA schemes etc …

        Thanks god you’re being retrospectively asked to pay what you owe. It’s the only way to prevent further abuse.

        You think you’re some kind of special group of people who work harder and are more skilled than non-freelancers. This is plainly egotistical rubbish. You’re just temps with skills and should therefore be taxed and treated like temps.

        If you weren’t happy then you always had the choice of permanent work.

        The world is going through unprecedented times with people losing their jobs all over the place. Key workers who are paid a fifth of what many of you earn and who are putting there’s and their families lives at risk. And yet you seem to think you deserve preferential treatment.

        You even deluded yourselves that you had something to do with the IR35 delay. Ha. How short sighted and self important are you ???

        You’ve taken the piss for far too long. Time to pay the piper.

        Have a nice day.

          • JB Taylor

            A hahahahaha

            Hahahaaaa

            The laziest of lazy retorts by someone who knows they have nothing to add to the discussion.

            Troll-lol-lol-lol

            Hahahaaaaa !!!

          • Dino

            JB Taylor, I have work to do, so will only give you a short retort. You seem to have more time on your hands, one of the benefits of permanent employment I believe and possibly why a company will bring in contractors, while you look on with envy.
            But carry on with your side swipes, they do not affect me in any way. I just find it amusing that you wish to Troll in this way.
            Any further reply’s from myself will be short, as I really do not have the time you enjoy. 😉

          • JB Taylor

            I ran a small consultancy and freelanced myself for a while.

            The work has dried up since Covid hit so I’ve taken early retirement. I didn’t need to join any schemes to enable this.

            I have worked with contractors for 30+ years. A lot of them good. A lot of them bad. Most of them complaint about tax. Many of theme aggressively avoided tax. These have been, or are in the process of having to pay it back along with penalties.

            You live by the sword, you die by it.

    • Tina

      It is sad to see, what I presume is an educated professional make such comments about contractors.
      If one is going to comment/ express their opinion on a subject it is best that the at least do their research so they don’t embarrass themselves by showing their ignorance

    • Graham Bennett

      Clearly, they did care, because we were all prevented from earning anything at all this year. Enjoy your paid holidays, free training, fat pensions and lazy job for life, permie.

  2. Dino
  3. XY

    What do we expect from a Chancellor whose father in law is co-founder of Infosys, the second largest Indian consultancy?

    Shout it from the rooftops! Inquiry?

  4. JB Taylor - The Tax Avenger

    Oh how you make me laugh.

    Your retirement fills us all with joy, we won’t have to work alongside you.

    Oh and just to help you sleep at night

    The BIG BILL will need to be paid and the only people with any money are

    {drumroll}

    The retired, so thanks for picking up the bill, me old China

    Now sleep well knowing your no longer relevant, but are a nice easy target for HMRC tax / pension raids

    xxx

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