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Spring Statement 2018 Follow Up. Contractors can breathe easy… for now

Spring Statement 2018 Follow Up

‘Building the Conservative’s vision of a country that works for everyone’

Today the Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his Spring Statement to the House of Commons in what contractors, freelancers and the self-employed will welcome as a largely dull affair, especially in terms of IR35, off-payroll working and private sector reform.

The Chancellor resisted the calls to spend the extra cash from tax receipts on the beleageured public sector but did hint at possible spending increases to come in his Autumn Budget. A Budget in which he will “set an overall path for public spending for 2020 and beyond” followed by a detailed spending review in 2019.

The revaluation for business rates has been brought forward to 2021, with subsequent revaluations set for every three years.

The Chancellor also announced that London would receive £1.7bn to deliver 26,000 affordables homes, including homes for social rent, which take the total up to 116,000 by the end of 2021/22.

The National Living Wage will rise from April 2018 to £7.83 per hour.

 

The Chancellor also unveiled a series of consultations on future policies, including:

  • A reduction in tax on for the least polluting vans
  • A potential tax on single use plastic
  • A new VAT collection mechanism for online sales
  • How online platforms can help their users to pay the right amount of tax
  • A call for evidence “on whether the use of non-agricultural red diesel tax relief contributes to poor air quality in urban areas”
  • Inviting cities across England to bid for a share of £840m to deliver on “local transport priorities”
  • A plan to help the UK’s least productive businesses learn from and catch up with the most productive
  • Measures to eliminate the continuing scourge of late payments for firms
  • The future of cash and digital payments

There are, as ever, bones of contention for the opposition parties to pick over and statistics for them to brandish in anger.

What of IR35 and off-payroll working?

Contractors can breathe easy (for the time being) as there was no mention of IR35 and private sector reform in today’s Spring Statement. However, in the coming months the government address off-payroll working and will publish a consultation on how to tackle non-compliance in the private sector by drawing on the experience gained from the public sector reform. The government will work with businesses and individuals to mitigate the potential administrative burdens of any future changes.

Watch this space!

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