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My colleague Kirsty Blackman MP warned the Chancellor about the risks of the IR35 tax change during the 25 April 2017 debate of the Finance Bill last year and the SNP will use this autumn’s Budget process to yet again demand action from the UK Government.

The UK Government has a duty to conduct a full and urgent review of the IR35 rule for both private and public sector bids to identify the impact of the policy and propose urgent measures to address its negative impact on contracted staff, private firms and our public services.

This policy has only made it more difficult for public sector organisations in rural communities, which often rely on contractors to fill vacancies, to employ key staff including teachers, doctors and nurses.

Whilst it is only fair that contractors pay their fair share of tax, experts have raised concerns IR35 does not achieve its stated aim of equalising tax between those under its scope and employees.

IR35 has also been criticised as burdening contractors with an unfairly high level of bureaucracy, making it more difficult to play their flexible role in the economy.

As well as leading the campaign against tax avoidance and evasion at Westminster, the SNP has performed the key opposition role of identifying detailed weaknesses in UK Government policy and will use the Autumn Budget to highlight key concerns about IR35’s complexity and apparent ineffectiveness.

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