IR35 didn’t feature in the Chancellor’s speech - the first time in years that the build up to a Budget hasn’t been dominated by uncertainty surrounding this legislation. But given that reform was introduced in the private sector in April, that the Chancellor ignored the subject wasn’t too much of a surprise.
The opportune moment to address the issue of IR35 reform - which has contributed to the 100,000 shortage of UK HGV drivers - was when Rishi Sunak announced a freeze on vehicle excise duty (VED) for HGVs and funding to improve lorry park facilities.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer unveiled the government's fiscal plans for the year ahead in the Autumn Budget - an event that was noticeably light on information directly impacting freelancers, contractors and the self-employed.
To a degree, this wasn’t unexpected. Following the recent announcement of the social care levy, changes to Corporation Tax set for 2023 and the introduction of IR35 reform in the private sector in April, the government has already revealed or recently rolled out a number of tax changes affecting the UK’s smallest businesses.
That’s not to say Budget 2021 wasn’t eventful. Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, Rishi Sunak outlined the government’s vision for what he described as a “stronger economy for the British people” and a Budget to “create jobs, improve skill, tackle NHS backlogs, put more police on the streets, and build new homes, hospitals and schools.”
In his speech, the Chancellor said Government spending is set to grow by £150bn a year by 2024/25. This will mark a £90bn rise and the largest increase in overall spending for any Parliament this century.
At a glance, here are the key takeaways from the Budget 2021:
These are in addition to several announcements made recently:
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