My SNP colleagues and I were disappointed to see the changes to the taxation of workers providing services through intermediaries. We strongly opposed these changes in the Finance Bill 2016.
It is our belief that the decision to cut the travel and subsistence expenses of workers providing services through intermediaries will have a detrimental impact on the financial security of workers, and on local economies. We argued that the reductions in net income will also disproportionately impact lower paid workers – the latest in a series of attacks against workers who already face financial insecurity. We strongly believe that the flexibility of our labour market is one of its greatest assets.
The changes to these contractors is the latest in a long line of measures that will adversely impact workers who are likely to work through a series of temporary contracts, and face issues such as job insecurity, and a lack of access to holiday pay, sick leave and pensions. Workers providing services through intermediaries are inadequately recognised by this system. It is with this in mind that the SNP Treasury Spokesperson, Roger Mullin MP, moved an amendment which would have launched a review of income tax treatment of workers providing services through intermediaries.
We also raised concerns around changes to the tax on dividend income implemented by the Finance Bill, which we fear may have a disproportionate impact on directors of micro businesses on low incomes.
Regrettably, the Tory UK Government did not support either of our amendments. Nevertheless, my SNP colleagues and I remain committed bringing about a just tax system that facilitates a fair, prosperous economy for all.