Following the parliamentary public accounts committee’s review into the use of off-payroll staff in the public sector, a number of contractor groups have responded to what they feel is an attack on the UK’s most vital workforces.
The PCG, REC, and FCSA all spoke out against what they feel is an unnecessary criticism of contractors as a whole. The REC’s Kevin Green said that “The idea that using contract staff is a tax dodge is ridiculous, simplistic and wrong.” He added that the attitude towards the use of contractors in senior positions is disappointing as well as showing a worrying lack of understanding of business.
John Brazier of the PCG, warned the government that they must change the tax system without ‘turning off the talent tap’ by outlawing freelancing wholesale within the public sector. He said; “The PCG has been and will continue to be robust on this issue and a simple, fair and easy-to-enforce system will ensure this happens. The Government is in real danger of damaging a vital way of working just because it refuses to put its thinking cap on when it comes to tax.”
FCSA Chairman Stuart Davis Chairman agreed the criticism was disappointing, saying that there is nothing wrong with using contractors in any role. He believes that the wider problem is HMRC’s enforcement of tax rules, such as IR35; “We believe that the right legislation is in place but that there is a failure to enforce it and we would support the Committee’s call for a strengthening of its enforcement.”
Kevin Green rounded up the response by praising the contractor and freelance workforce; “The contribution of contractors and interim mangers is something that should be celebrated rather than damaged through knee jerk political reaction to headlines like those we have seen today.”
ICS work with a team of experts in employment and tax law to ensure our services are fully compliant with existing IR35 legislation and the latest government regulations, such as the AWR. You can contact us now for a tailored proposal based on your individual circumstances as a contractor.