IPSE: Queen’s Speech brings welcome late payment and pension reforms – but government must not lose sight of freelancer tax promises
IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has welcomed measures announced in the Queen’s Speech to clamp down on late payment and promote saving for later life.
However, it noted that there was no mention of the Conservative Party’s pledge to review IR35 and warned the party must keep its promise and support the self-employed. In the Queen’s Speech, it was announced the government will: “clamp down on late payment more broadly and strengthen the powers of the Small Business Commissioner to support small businesses that are exploited by their larger partners.”
It was also announced that the government will “support pension saving in the 21st century” and “create a legislative framework for the introduction of pensions dashboards”, something that IPSE has called for in its pensions work.
Broadband legislation was also announced that would “support the roll out of gigabit-capable broadband across the UK to achieve nationwide coverage as soon as possible”.
It was also stated that the government “want Britain to be the best country in the world to start and grow a business – a place where entrepreneurs know they can build on their ideas and find success.”
Simon McVicker, Director of Policy at IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed), said: “There is plenty of good news here for the self-employed. Late payment is the scourge of freelancers everywhere, and we have been calling for some time for the Small Business Commissioner to be given more powers to clamp down on it. In fact, it was a key demand in our #5millionvotes manifesto.
“It is excellent to see the government has listened, and we look forward to seeing this become a reality soon. We will be pushing for these powers to include naming and shaming – and even fining – the worst offenders.
“Another key area of our manifesto was saving for later life. It is great to see the government not only recognising the lack of saving at the moment, but also taking on our recommendation to create a pensions dashboard. This will help freelancers keep track of their pensions and bring together their different saving funds in one place.
“We are also delighted to see the government forging ahead with the plan to bring gigabit broadband to the entire country. A strong internet connection is one of the vital tools to allow freelancers to build their businesses and thrive in the modern economy.
“In all this good news, however, there was one vital thing missing: IR35. During the election, Chancellor Sajid Javid pledged that the Conservative Party would review the disastrous changes to IR35 due to come into the private sector in April.
“If this government is to truly make Britain a place where ‘entrepreneurs know they can build on their ideas and find success’, it must keep its promise and also halt these hugely damaging changes while a full review is carried out. It has a golden opportunity to support and drive forward the vital self-employed sector, but it must first protect it from a dangerous mistake.”