Philip Hammond’s delivery of the government’s first Spring Statement proved to be a short, snappy affair today. While there were no major tax and spending changes, we did get an insight into what the government will be focusing on over the next six months and a few signals of what’s likely to come in Autumn. Thankfully, there were no surprises in store for contractors and consultants.
‘The fourth industrial revolution’
Much of today’s speech focused on the state of housing, borrowing, and public services. However, the Chancellor’s announcement showed the Government continues to acknowledge the role of Britain’s technology sector in growing the UK economy.
The statement covered rolling out the first allocation of full-fibre investment and touched on the start of 5G testbeds to provide fast, reliable broadband to more homes and businesses. Alongside announcements on T-level technical qualifications and calls to encourage cashless and digital transactions.
With a new tech business opening every hour and with ‘skills and capital being attracted from the four corners of the earth’ – no doubt we’ll continue to see increased funding for technological advances in the coming years. This is great news for contractors and consultants who often underpin innovation.
Any mention of IR35?
Many in the world of contracting expected the topic of IR35 to crop up. Certainly, all signs from HMRC have suggested the off-payroll rules could be rolled out to the private sector as early as 2019. However, the Spring Statement provided no updates on any IR35 proposals, which could see reforms pushed back until at least 2020. Plenty of time to brush up on your IR35 knowledge before any future announcements. If you’re not sure where to start, you can grab a copy of our IR35 ebook, here.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be working to ensure a smooth transition for our clients to the new 2018/19 tax year – which looks set to be business as usual for independent professionals.