As we enter November and this year’s Autumn statement edges ever closer – 23 November in case you’ve not yet added it to your calendar – a number of leading figures at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) have given their predictions of what to expect.
This year’s statement – the first to be delivered by Chancellor Phillip Hammond – is a particularly interesting and anticipated one following the Brexit vote this summer.
But what can we expect? And what will the ramifications be for the contracting world?
“Philip Hammond will want to tell a positive story with Brexit looming – the rhetoric of austerity will be gone, instead the Chancellor will want to highlight investments in important infrastructure like housing, road and rail,” said Jordan Marshall, Policy Development Manager at IPSE. “This will be good news for independent professionals who need to travel frequently, but what would be less welcome is if Hammond decides to push ahead with damaging plans to reform IR35 in the public sector.”
Andy Chamberlain, IPSE Deputy Director of Policy, reiterates the importance of the IR35 in the public sector debate and the need for clarity from the government.
“IPSE and the wider contracting community have been working hard to make the case that putting the responsibility of determining employment status on the client or agency just won’t work,” he said. “Mr Hammond has the perfect opportunity to make a break from the policies announced under George Osborne. We’d like to see some announcements that bring forward recommendations made in the Deane review on self-employment. This could mean action on maternity pay or pension provision for people working for themselves.”
Adam Waters, Senior Policy Manager at IPSE, highlighted the chancellor’s previous indications about the government potentially borrowing to invest in much needed infrastructure.
“This will be good news for freelancers that rely on transport and digital infrastructure, and whose flexibility and expertise are vital in delivering project based work,” he said.