IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has responded to the Chancellor’s Budget today, welcoming a largely “hopeful vision” for many freelancers, while also warning that many self-employed are still excluded and need support in the coming months.
Derek Cribb, CEO of IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed), said: “After the severe and disproportionate financial impact of the pandemic on the self-employed sector, this Budget contains much that will be welcome to struggling UK freelancers. We thank the Chancellor for listening to our calls for more support for new self-employed people and extending SEISS in-line with employee support. We are also grateful the Chancellor listened to our calls for a small profits rate of Corporation Tax, although we believe the threshold is too low.
“Overall, this Budget presents a hopeful vision for many freelancers – in the midst of dark times. We urge the Chancellor and government, however, not to forget still excluded groups such as limited company directors and look at new ways to support all parts of the self-employed sector.”
On support for the newly self-employed, he said: “After almost a year, this support will be a tremendous relief to hundreds of thousands of self-employed people who could not access SEISS because they had not yet filed a full tax return. We are delighted that the government has heeded our calls to get support to this struggling group. While this support is welcome, however, we also urge the Chancellor to look again at groups such as limited company directors, who are still excluded from SEISS.”
On a fifth round of SEISS, he said: “It is very welcome the government has announced it will launch a fifth round of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. It is fair and right for self-employed support to match that available for employees – and to extend until September 2021.”
On the small profits Corporation Tax rate: “We are pleased the Chancellor has heeded our calls and outlined plans to reintroduce a small profits rate. However, we believe the £50,000 threshold is too low and will not exempt some of the smallest businesses – who have received little by way of support during the pandemic – from future tax rises. It is also the right decision for the Chancellor to give those businesses who will be affected by the change two years to prepare for it.”
On changes to IR35, he said: “While there is much that is positive for the self-employed in this Budget, it is regrettable the government has confirmed its plans to push ahead with the changes to IR35 taxation on the self-employed. We continue to urge the Chancellor to delay these deeply damaging changes, which will largely hit sole directors of limited companies – who are also excluded from SEISS, and some of whom will also be affected by the increase to Corporation Tax.”