The Cumbrian economy will be hit hard as the Government plans to press ahead with its plans to cut travel and subsistence expenses for contractors from April. The number of self-employed and part-time workers is higher in Cumbria than the national average with 34.9% working part-time and 10.3% self-employed.
Denying contractors and contingency workers the right to claim tax relief on their travel and subsistence will mean that the Cumbrian economy will see a skills shortage as fewer workers will be willing to travel for assignments and work.
Cumbria relies heavily on supply teachers and NHS locum workers and if these individuals work at several locations, losing their travel expenses will make the prospect of taking on a temporary role much less attractive.
Sue has voiced her concerns about the impact that this latest tax reform will have. She said:
“I was shocked to discover the impact that cuts to contractors’ travel and subsistence expenses could have on our local economy in West Cumbria. Our local industry relies heavily on contractors and temporary workers, as do our local schools and hospitals. We already struggle to attract staff for vital services, and this would do nothing to help the situation.”
Julia Kermode is CEO of The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA), the leading UK trade body that has been campaigning hard against the tax cuts. Kermode added:
“Abolishing travel and subsistence tax relief will make it difficult for Cumbria to attract the workforce it relies on so heavily to fill key public sector roles. It could mean having to pay more to access the skills and talent these workers provide or risk not having the right skills at all. It will certainly put a strain on an already stretched Cumbrian public sector purse.”