Published On: Tue, Oct 8th, 2019

Boris Johnson urged to tear up tax code by IPSE chief: ‘It’s unsustainable!’ | Personal Finance | Finance


During his keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference last week, Sajid Javid announced a series of new spending pledges. The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s focus was infrastructure and rural areas, with money promised for bus networks, roads, and the rollout of 5G. According to Mark Littlewood, director-general of the Institute of Economic Affairs and John O’Connell, the chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, there is little doubt that these policies will be popular after years of austerity.

However, the financial experts argued in a piece of City A.M. that instead of spending, the Government should deliver more tax-cuts and revise the tax code.

They wrote: “Politicians like to talk about fixing this when they are in opposition or pitching for a senior job, but when faced with a mountain of other competing priorities and a public mood that responds well to spending pledges, it is no wonder that tax simplification – never mind tax cutting – can fall by the wayside.

“As a result, the tax code is growing unsustainably – it is more than double the size it was in 2009.”

During an event organised by Free Agent and attended by Express.co.uk last week, Chris Bryce, chief executive of the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) echoed Mr Littlewood and Mr O’Connell’s claims and urged Boris Johnson’s government to completely “tear up” the tax code.

Mr Bryce argued that at more than 22,000 pages and 12 times the size of the King James Bible, the tax code is hideously complicated and needs deep reform – particularly for small businesses and the self-employed.

He said: “For about 20 years IPSE has been deeply involved in the application of today’s tax system to the self employed.

“The real problem is that the tax system caters for the employers and the employees.

“And there are five million people who get caught in the middle.

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“We live in the 21st century.

“Why don’t we start again?

“It’s a big ask, a huge ask, but a Government with the right will could do this. They could get the royal commission together and completely revise the tax system.”

The IPSE chief also suggested that Downing Street should start with small businesses in particular – which are “the life and blood of the UK economy”.



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