More MPs show support for the UK’s flexible workforce and back the campaign to Stop The Off-Payroll Tax

15 Jul 2019

On Tuesday 9th July, campaigners – contractors and freelancers – from the Stop The Off-Payroll Tax travelled to Westminster to take part in the Stop The Off-Payroll Tax lobby day and meet MPs to get the message across that the Off-Payroll Tax, which has already damaged the public sector and the NHS, will harm contracting and slap a 14.3% stealth tax on businesses that rely on contracting and the UK’s flexible skilled workforce.

The day involved campaigners protesting outside Parliament then attending a drop-in event for MPs hosted by Paul Sweeney MP, MP for Glasgow North East and Shadow Scotland Minister. At the drop-in event in Parliament, MPs met with campaigners to hear about the issue and show support for the campaign and the UK’s flexible economy. The message of the lobby day was that the Off-Payroll Tax was ‘bad for business and bad for Britain’ and the campaigners unveiled a banner calling on the next Prime Minister – Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt – to stop the Treasury’s ‘war on contracting’ and instead work with the contracting sector.

The campaign also delivered a letter to the next Chancellor of the Exchequer calling on him or her to “stop this Government’s War on Contracting and agree to pause the damaging plans to extend the controversial and flawed Off-Payroll Tax to the private sector”.

The letter went on to attack the current Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond saying “We are sorry to say that your predecessor, Philip Hammond, has been a disaster for contracting and for businesses who rely on them. He has gone back on his word, made in opposition, to reform the flawed IR35 legislation then become beholden to an out-of-control HMRC’s pursuit of highly skilled hardworking people who are vital to many British businesses and the UK economy. Thousands of contractors and freelancers can’t wait to see the back of him and his anti-contractor regime and only hope that you will stop his aggressive attack on contracting and freelancing. So we are writing to you, in advance of your appointment, urging you to change course – to stop damaging business and undermining contracting and freelancing”.

The Stop The Off-Payroll Tax campaign is calling for the plans to be dropped from the draft Finance Bill and instead for the Government to sit down with the sector and work out the best way to recognise contracting and freelancing in the tax system, including the important principle of being treated as an employee for both employee rights and tax purposes if a person is classified in law as an employee.

Already over 30 MPs have signed a parliamentary motion calling on the Government to drop the plans and now the legislation is published, many more MPs are waking up to the damage that will be done by the Off-Payroll Tax.

A few weeks ago, ten leading organisations in the contacting and freelancing sector wrote an open letter to both candidates standing to become the next Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister, asking them to halt these damaging plans if they become Prime Minister.

Dave Chaplin, Director of the Stop The Off-Payroll Tax campaign said:

It was great to take the Stop The Off-Payroll Tax campaign to Parliament and get across the message to MPs that the Government’s plans are bad for business and bad for the UK economy.

We are hugely grateful to the MPs who came to meet with contractors and freelancers and for supporting the Stop The Off-Payroll Tax campaign and calling on the Government to halt its damaging and ill-considered plans to roll out the off-payroll rules to the private sector. Thank you also to Paul Sweeney MP for hosting the day and the important drop-in event and to all the contractors who came to support the event.

Already the evidence shows that the Off-Payroll Tax has damaged the public sector and driven staff out of the NHS, now all the key organisations in the contracting sector are saying not to go ahead with these plans yet the Treasury and HMRC are pushing on anyway. With the support of pro-business MPs, we hope they will be made to listen and support the UK’s flexible economy.

Notes to editors

The Stop the Off-Payroll Tax was launched in May 2019 by ContractorCalculator, see

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