- I never expected that back in 2012 when I first started my limited company in the East Midlands that I would end up involved in a movement to combat unfair taxation on small businesses in the UK.
- I never thought that the UK government may seek to take my company away from me.
- It never crossed my mind that the UK government would seek to limit the effectiveness of small business in the UK.
With a conservative government in power in the UK, contractors incorrectly thought that they would be able to run businesses without fear of persecution.
The current conservative government are not friendly towards business and we as limited companies are being demonised.
Our mental health and careers are being destroyed by ineffective and confusing IR35 legislation.
On Wednesday 12th Feb 2020 I felt that I had to go to Westminster to try to save my own business along with many hundreds of others.
I wrote to my local Broxtowe conservative MP Darren Henry and I received a rather unsupportive letter from him after the protest took place so I was not able to meet with him. As you can see from the letter Darren Henry does not support small businesses but he did offer to meet with me so kudos to him for that.
Off I went to London to protest.
It appeared that at least 500 Ltd company contractors also felt the same about IR35 and turned up with me to protest outside the houses or parliament in Westminster.
The plan was to stand outside parliament in Westminster at 11am and raise our placards and let everyone in London know the plight of the self-employed LTD company contractor.
We raised awareness and a few well meaning MP’s visited us to show their support.
Some LTD company directors managed to get in to parliament to consult with their MP’s to raise awareness about the IR35 situation.
I had not seen Darren Henry’s letter (above) at this point, so I was unaware that I could have met with him and I did not pursue a meeting with Darren any further on the day of the protest.
Jesse Norman the financial secretary to the treasury since 2019 has been subject to a torrent of communications regarding the dangerous situation that is IR35 and the fact that this legislation has already resulted in the death of seven people. Jesse Norman has denied that a problem exists and that companies are blanket banning PSC’s from operating.
If we examine the offpayroll.org.uk website, we can see that blanket determinations / bans are happening across the country at many organisations.
Jessica Morden Labour MP for Newport East has sought to raise awareness in parliament about IR35 and the damage it is doing.
As you can see in this tweet from Jessica Morden, highlighting that Jesse Norman is not aware of any damage caused to small businesses by them being effectively banned from operating. Thousands of tweets and hundreds of letters sent to Jesse Norman is apparently not enough to make him take notice.
Here are some video clips I recorded during the day of the #IR35 OffPayroll protest.
On 13/02/2020 with the resignation of the UK’s chancellor Sajid Javid, a new hope Rishi Sunak an ex Goldman Sachs banker has been put in place to manage the UK’s finances.
Will Rishi Sunak solve the IR35 legislative disaster for small businesses in the UK?
Many of the contractors I spoke to on the day were considering closing their businesses down completely or taking a break for a few months until HMRC resolve the IR35 confusion. This would be a terrible loss to the UK economy but as we have seen seven deaths already attributed to this legislation and the resulting loan charge it may prove to be the only option for some.
See more images of the protest below.