Steps to help self-employed “unlikely to be the last” Chancellor has to take
Julian Jessop quoted by NewsWeek
Annabel Denham writes for City AM
“The Chancellor has done a good job in drawing up a sensible package to support the self-employed, which is a relatively diverse group of people with different needs and different levels of engagement with the existing tax and benefit system. But this ‘next step’ is unlikely to be the last he has to take.
“As the Chancellor himself admitted, there will be gaps in the new scheme, notably those who have only recently become self-employed. No-one is likely to benefit from this scheme until early June. In the meantime, there is a danger that any system of means-tested benefits will be overwhelmed by a surge in applications. There may still be the need for some additional top-up payments to tide people over.
“Another sting in the tail is that the Chancellor has said he will look at again at the relatively favourable tax treatment of income from self-employment. There is a strong case for levelling the playing field, but this could be done by lowering taxes for those in standard employment. Raising taxes for the self-employed would also be hard to square with the manifesto commitments not to raise the rates of income tax, National Insurance or VAT.”
Andy Mayer, Chief Operating Officer at the Institute of Economic Affairs, added:
“The proposals for contract workers are welcome and more flexible than those for payroll workers. Contractors, it is clear, can keep working while claiming. Payroll workers cannot, but can volunteer to help charities.”
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