Responding to the Budget, the IPSE has said Rishi Sunak’s ‘historic Coronavirus stimulus’ is ‘very welcome’, but believes that the ‘disastrous’ IR35 changes to the private sector is ‘drastically undermining’ the contracting sector.
Chris Bryce, CEO of IPSE, said, “This Budget is a mixed but overall still gloomy event for most of the self-employed. The measures to support the self-employed and small businesses through the Coronavirus outbreak are very welcome – and in-line with what IPSE has been calling for. However, just as the government tries to protect freelancers’ incomes with these measures, it destroys their work by forging ahead with the disastrous changes to IR35 despite heavy criticism.”
Commenting on the measures in response to the Coronavirus, Bryce said: “The historic stimulus package to support freelancers and small businesses through the Coronavirus outbreak is very welcome. It is absolutely right that the self-employed should get financial support if they become ill or have to self-isolate because unlike most employees, they do not have access to sick pay.
“Removing the Minimum Income Floor for Universal Credit is a major step in the right direction. Freelancers’ problem with Universal Credit was always that the Minimum Income Floor ignored the fluctuating nature of their income. Removing this throughout the Coronavirus crisis should give them access to funds that will compensate for the fact that they do not have sick pay.
“The new Business Interruption Loan Scheme will also go a long way to supporting self-employed people and contractors through the Coronavirus crisis, giving them temporary support to tide them over disruptions to their supply chains and other unforeseen problems. The £3,000 cash grant for small businesses could also be vital to many self-employed people who work through a limited company.”