Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said on Radio 4 that he would like to review IR35. This now means that the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party (SNP) have all stated they would review the reform.
Mr Javid, whilst speaking on BBC Radio 4 programme Money Box said:
One thing in particular that I want to look at again are the proposed changes to IR35. I want to make sure the proposed changes are right to take forward. I think it makes sense to include the proposed IR35 changes in that review.
In response to Mr Javid, Seb Maley, CEO of Qdos, an insurance and tax advice for the self-employed said:
With the general election nearly upon us, that the Chancellor has pledged to review IR35 reform will be welcomed by contractors who have understandably lost trust in this Government.
While a review of IR35 changes is certainly a sign of progress, reform is still set to be enforced in April 2020. As a result, contractors, recruitment agencies and private sector firms must work off the basis that it will be introduced until told otherwise.
A potential review into IR35 reform shows the Government is listening at long last. However, any review must be genuine and not lip service simply to win the votes of independent workers, who could be crucial in the outcome of the general election.
However, Labour’s pledge regarding IR35 has resulted in some backtracking already. Bill Esterson, Labour’s shadow minister for small business last week (25/11/19) said the party would put a stop to IR35 being introduced to the private sector, however, he has now backtracked on this and said the party will review the matter.
We absolutely can’t see it rolled out into the private sector the way things are at the moment.
We need to support the self-employed in this country. We need to make sure that our tax system is diverse so that it matches the needs of being self-employed and is also consistent with the risk that is taken.
Later on, Mr Esterson when asked if the Labour Party would review and not roll out IR35 changes to the private sector in 2020, his response via Twitter was “absolutely”.
This tweet has been deleted and Mr Esterson has now said that Labour policy will be to review IR35 not to put a stop to it. Following this news the SNP said they would also review the tax rules. The SNP manifesto details their plans for IR35.