Truss’s IR35 review seen as an “empty promise”

A poll has revealed contractor cynicism over the Prime Minister’s promise to review IR35

The new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, promised to review IR35 during her leadership campaign, insisting that the tax system should not treat contractors the same as big business, in an interview with The Sun on Sunday.

But a recent poll conducted by Qdos Contractor found that just 5% of respondents have faith in Liz Truss to follow through with a review, compared to an overwhelming majority – 94% of respondents – who consider it nothing more than an “empty promise”.

An additional 1% said that they were “not holding my breath” on an IR35 review going ahead at all, or believed that the promise to review the legislation was “just electioneering”.

The results reflect the growing discontent among the UK’s contractor workforce, says Qdos Contractor CEO, Seb Maley, who suggested that contractor confidence in the government is “at an all-time low” due to the continued impact of IR35 and failures to adequately address the issues resulting from the reform.

“The overwhelming majority of people have next to no faith in the new Prime Minister just to review IR35, let alone fix this legislation’s fundamental flaws,” Maley said.

“Countless reviews, consultations and inquiries”

Truss’s pledge to review IR35 is the latest in a number of inquiries and consultations focused on the legislation in recent years.

“There have been countless reviews, consultations and inquiries into IR35, few of which have resulted in change or progress,” Maley continued. 

Despite these reviews and the considered solutions that have been put forward, including by members of the House of Lords, Maley said that these suggestions have fallen on “deaf ears”, with successive governments ignoring the “many valid and constructive recommendations” offered.

IR35 is just one of many issues for new PM

Meanwhile, the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has welcomed the promised review into IR35 legislation – hailed by Tania Bowers, the body’s Global Public Policy Director, as “a move which is needed in light of challenges to the temporary recruitment market”.

Citing the changes the UK economy has experienced in the last few years, APSCo has called for “the employment and skills agenda” to be prioritised under Truss’s leadership, in a bid to combat the “wealth of struggles” that the UK economy faces.

APSCo believes that this could be achieved with the introduction of the Employment Bill, alongside the review of IR35, to create “a stronger and more dynamic labour market… which will better reflect modern-day working, post-pandemic, than current legislation”.

However, the arrival of the Employment Bill may still be some way off. 

The bill has started in the House of Commons and is on its second reading. From here, it will undergo a committee stage and a report stage before its third reading, after which it will progress to the House of Lords, where it will follow the same process.

Only then, subject to any amendments, will the bill be passed into law.


  • XY says:

    It’s really quite simple. IR35 has been around for 21 years, so a party or a politican must have understood it and decided what they’re going tgo do about it after 21 years – no “review” required.

    The word “review” is politician-speak for “talk among ourselves then do nothing”.

    These reviews always “consult” what they call “industry experts”. Such people all have vested interests in IR35 continuing – if you run a contract review service then you simply won’t have a business after IR35 ends, so guess what they’d be in favour of. Not difficult, is it?

    And that includes bodies claiming to “represent” contractors’ interests such as the PCG/IPSE and otehrs – many of their members joined to fight IR35 and would leave if the problem is fixed.

  • Steve says:

    Nobody in government is going to back track on IR35.. They don’t value IT / Engineering skills and letting the public save on tax isn’t in their interest whether it be Labour, Conservatory even the Green party. The only thing that will change their attitude is War!!! When they realise, sadly too late that Banks, Shares and Insurance doesn’t overthrow a hostile country.

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