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IPSE welcomes Budget news for freelancers, but warns many remain excluded

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has welcomed the chancellor’s plans to support the self-employed but warned that he must not forget “struggling groups”.

Freelancers and the self-employed have been hit hard as a result of the restrictions put in place to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, and despite the chancellor’s 2021 Budget offering added support, there still many people excluded from help.

Derek Cribb, CEO of IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed), said the Budget contains much that will be welcome to struggling UK freelancers. “We thank the chancellor for listening to our calls for more support for new self-employed people and extending SEISS in-line with employee support,” he said. “We are also grateful the chancellor listened to our calls for a small profits rate of Corporation Tax, although we believe the threshold is too low. 

“Overall, this Budget presents a hopeful vision for many freelancers – in the midst of dark times. We urge the chancellor and government, however, not to forget still excluded groups such as limited company directors and look at new ways to support all parts of the self-employed sector.”

On support for the newly self-employed, he said that the support measures will be a “tremendous relief” to hundreds of thousands of self-employed people who could not access SEISS because they had not yet filed a full tax return.

Responded to a fifth round of SEISS, he added it was “fair and right” for self-employed support to match that available for employees – and to extend until September 2021.

Cribb commented that, with regards to the small profits Corporation Tax rate, that the £50,000 threshold was too low and will not exempt some of the smallest businesses – who have received little by way of support during the pandemic – from future tax rises.

“It is also the right decision for the Chancellor to give those businesses who will be affected by the change two years to prepare for it,” he added.

Cribb added that it was “regrettable” the Government confirmed its plans to push ahead with the changes to IR35 taxation on the self-employed, and urged the chancellor to delay what he described as “deeply damaging” changes, which will largely hit sole directors of limited companies who are also excluded from SEISS.