The vital role contractors play in stimulating the economy is being overlooked by politicians who are intent on targeting those using tax avoidance schemes, believes John Brazier, managing director of the Professional Contractors Group (PCG).
He feels that the level of scrutiny the sector has come under in recent months is uncalled for and rather than tarring all contractors with the same brush MPs should focus their attention on the small number of high-earning individuals who have used questionable methods in order to circumvent taxation.
“This knee-jerk reaction has compounded the problems caused by an unfair scoring system for the business tests associated with IR35, creating a clear policy dichotomy in Whitehall,” Mr Brazier wrote in a letter published this week by Contractor Calculator.
“The Government is slowly strangling access to talent with red tape, while simultaneously proclaiming how crucial this entrepreneurial spirit is to growing the economy out if its debt crisis.”
He also feels that the “witch hunt” of limited company contractors and freelancers will cause serious damage to the public sector because changes to ‘off-payroll ‘ rules and controlling a persons legislation will massively impact on contractors livelihoods and drive their skills away.
The PCG has forged links with high-level individuals inside Westminster through the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Freelance Sector and intends to have its case heard.
One of the key things the PCG is looking to establish is why the government feels it is necessary for further legislation to come into force when the IR35 already exists to tackle false self-employment.
“Ensuring that the voices of freelancers and contractors are heard when the government is formulating new tax legislation remains a vital and core element of our work,” Mr Brazier stated.
“We will always remain vigilant for unfair and unnecessary taxation and regulation that will impact negatively on the freelancing and contracting sector.”