Thank you to all our campaigners
On Wednesday night we asked MPs across all parties to vote Aye to Amendment 20 to delay the roll out of the Off payroll rules to the private sector, and to allow for a proper review of how the flexible workforce is represented in tax law.
Whilst all the opposition parties opposed the Government, there were only 13 Conservative MPs who backed Amendment 20, and we needed at least 40 to swing the vote, which we were confident we had leading up to it. This was a notable rebellion, but unfortunately there were not enough Conservative MPs prepared to finally breach their three-line whip, and take the courage to rebel. This included many who had indicated to their constituents that they were opposed to the measures.
We now understand from sources that considerable discussions were had with many of the Conservative rebels and many assurances made by Treasury to engage further with the market to ensure the reforms would be smooth and not damage the flexible workforce. HMRC have already been in touch with Dave Chaplin, and he will continue to fight for contractors and the flexible workforce when further meetings take place with the Treasury.
What does this mean for the campaign?
We have now come to a natural end to our formal campaign to stop the roll out of the Off Payroll Tax to the private sector, as the new rules will shortly traverse through the rest of the Finance Bill stages, mostly of which are ceremonial. The Lords do not have the power on Finance Bills to reverse the decision.
Originating with the efforts by ContractorCalculator, and formally grouping in Feb 2019 under the Stop the Off Payroll Tax Campaign, we have worked tirelessly over the last four years to raise awareness of this issue and to get MPs to realise just how damaging it will be to the flexible workforce. It might feel that we have not achieved all that we hoped for, but eliciting a vote in Parliament on this matter was a huge achievement, especially since Labour had not been clear in supporting previously.
What did our campaign achieve?
- We are very proud to have become the leading campaigning voice on this issue.
- 3,868 supporters signed up to be part of the campaign.
- We organised two protest days outside the Houses of Parliament and two drop-in events for MPs. The July event trended on twitter.
- The Campaign helped to force a delay in 2019, and then later forced a delay from April 2020 to April 2021.
- Our investigative journalism and evidence assisted with the hugely powerful House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee Finance Bill Sub-Committee report.
- The Campaign resulted in multiple invitations to discuss Off-Payroll with Jesse Norman in person, and the head of the Off-Payroll Programme at HMRC. Those communication lines are still open.
- We achieved general election manifesto commitments from the SNP and the Liberal Democrats to review IR35, which then pushed the Conservatives into promising the same.
- We were backed publicly by many other sector organisations.
- The Campaign galvanised over 70 individual pledges of support from MPs.
- The Campaign collaborated closely with David Davis and other supportive MPs to table and push Amendment 20.
- The Campaign coordinated efforts to inform and educate the Finance Bill Committee.
- The Campaign created the message “Zero Rights Employment”, which accurately depicts the primary flaw in the legislation, crucial to galvanising cross party support.
- Ultimately we got a vote in Parliament, which all opposition Parties supported.
Some important thank yous
We would like to thank the 3,868 active supporters who signed up to be part of the campaign and who actively lobbied their MPs. Special thanks to those who met their MPs in person multiple times.
We would also like to thank David Davis, Sir Ed Davey and the group of MPs who tabled and signed the Amendment and for putting forward a strong and heartfelt argument last night. We’d also like to thank the Liberal Democrats and the SNP who were the two parties fully committed to trying to stop the roll-out and stop Zero Rights Employment. We are now also able to thank the Labour Party who did decide to back the delay.
We would especially also like to thank the following Tory Rebels for standing by their constituents and voting AYE, alongside David Davis:
Peter Bone; David Amess; Graham Brady; Chris, Chope; Ian Duncan-Smith; Roger Gale; Philip Hollobone; Jonathan Lord; Matthew Orford; John Redwood; Henry Smit; William Wragg.
Please tweet and thank your MP if they voted AYE on the night. It is easy for anyone to vote with their party whip, but the list of Conservative MPs (above) are the ones who had the courage to defy their whip and stand up for their constituents and constituent businesses.
A thank you to David Davis, Sir Ed Davey and those who actually signed Amendment 20 would also be in order. You can find the full results here.
We are very grateful to all of you who have kept us going with monthly and one off contributions. We have taken down the contribution button from our site and will be contacting those who have set up a monthly contribution to confirm that it has been cancelled. Thank you once again for your support.
What should you do next?
We can all agree that the final result is not what we wanted. But, it is now time to look at ensuring you comply with the legislation, you are knowledgeable about your rights, and you and the firms you work for are ready for April 2021.
We do hope that supportive MPs will continue to raise the Off-Payroll Tax in the months to come and we do hope they will push the Government to undertaking the review into self-employment, which should surely recommend a complete overhaul of IR35 and ensure all who are classed as “deemed employees” and taxed like employees also receive the same employment rights and benefits. In the meantime, you will need to push yourselves to get those full set of rights if you are classed as “inside IR35”.
We are creating a new FAQ page for the STOPT website with the answers to some of your questions and a list of useful resources for you to use. This will take a few days so please bear with us whilst we compile this.
Thanks to all of you!
The largest thanks go to all 3,868 of you, without whom we would not have got this far. Your efforts have all been brilliant at reacting to the ever changing political landscape. You have all been amazing, and we are only sorry that we didn’t get the result we hoped for.
Many of you have kindly emailed us with thanks, for which we are very grateful and means a lot to the hard working team here.
So, thank you to ALL of you and all you have done to be part of this campaign. We may not have won, but we were heard loud and clear, and it is now on the record that there are serious flaws with the Off-payroll working rules, and the Treasury have been instructed and promised to do something about minimising the damage to the flexible workforce.
Although the Stop the Off-Payroll campaign will not be continuing as such, ContractorCalculator will certainly keep pushing the issue as it has done for the last twenty years.
The team at STOPT.