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Budget 2017: How to make a downbeat forecast sound better. Say 'tech' a lot?

Big up Tech and then screw Tech contractors - illogical dear Chancellor

However, thanks to the contracting community and IPSE in particular (well, I would say that, wouldn't I) Philip didn't actually screw tech contractors too much this time round.

IPSE's relieved (and slightly/rightly proud of themselves) that Philip Hammond listened to them on VAT thresholds and further extending IR35. They look forward to at least trying to achieve a serious and meaningful consultation with him and HM Treasury. Keep your fingers crossed that this'll be no sham with a pre-ordained outcome.

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Re: Big up Tech and then screw Tech contractors - illogical dear Chancellor

Which budget did you see/read? He as much said "We're going to do the same thing to Private sector as we did to public sector IR35 rules". the (below) is just lip service, it *will* be implemented and the "approved" test outcome *will* be Inside by default (TM), just like the Public sector test. Any protests by IPSE et al will be ignored, business will just roll over and hide, not wanting to attract HMRC's attention. Rates will go up some, incomes will go down some and the drag on the economy will increase yet again.

(via contractor calculator email) Verbatim the Budget document:

3.7 Off-payroll working in the private sector – The government reformed the off-payroll working rules (known as IR35) for engagements in the public sector in April 2017. Early indications are that public sector compliance is increasing as a result, and therefore a possible next step would be to extend the reforms to the private sector, to ensure individuals who effectively work as employees are taxed as employees even if they choose to structure their work through a company. It is right that the government take account of the needs of businesses and individuals who would implement any change. Therefore the government will carefully consult on how to tackle non-compliance in the private sector, drawing on the experience of the public sector reforms, including through external research already commissioned by the government and due to be published in 2018.

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Lip service

Ah, you cynic you:) It's my job, and IPSE's, to at least have stab at this.

If we win, you'll benefit too - we're generous that way.

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Re: Big up Tech and then screw Tech contractors - illogical dear Chancellor

Theres barely any benefit tax wise to contracting anyway unless you go with one of the dodgy schemes you get a call about occasionally. Not paying NI is about it. Oh and claiming back work work related expenses as tax exempt but thats not much.

I would be pissed if it got worse I admit.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm holding out for the shopperless mall

makes as much sense...

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Truly, truly shit.

The batting on about driverless cars was included purely to allow him to make a joke about 'Jeremy, Hammond and May'. Fuck me backwards......

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Re: Truly, truly shit.

And the additional £350m to see the NHS through the winter was also a politically chosen figure.

The worse things get, the more it seems to encourage them.

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Facepalm

Over the next 10 years

How long is he going to be in office?

How long will the Tories be in power?

These announcements are just like saying "You will get a 10% pay rise over the next 10 years". Big headline figure, fuck all in reality.

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Battery tax

"Folks charging the motors at work will not be taxed, he said."

So if you charge your car at home you get taxed but not if it's at work?

I know the gov' is going to have to find a way to replace the revenue lost from oil based fuels but how do they go about taxing your car charging? A seperate 'Smart'™ meter in you garagr/parking space?

What will they do if you are a solar panel owning off grid type, a tax on sunlight?

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Re: Battery tax

In the UK you are taxed on the personal value of the company car. This can include "free" fuel as part of your employment contract. You are taxed on the benefit of this fuel for personal use.

If the fuel is an electric charge, although a personal benefit if used for commuting or a trip to the shops, the value of the charge will not be taxed.

Seems reasonable if policy is to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles.

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Unhappy

"Hammond revealed sharp cut in growth forecasts for 2017 from 2 per cent to 1.5 per cent "

Indeed.

25% straight off the top.

IIRC this is expected to a £30Bn loss of the UK economy, at least.

And BTW the UK has the lowest productivity in the G7.

So IRL the Conservatives have done what they do. Look after property owners and f**k everyone else.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Hammond revealed sharp cut in growth forecasts for 2017 from 2 per cent to 1.5 per cent "

OBR figures - they have a 100% record, of being wrong.

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Re: "Hammond revealed sharp cut in growth forecasts for 2017 from 2 per cent to 1.5 per cent "

"OBR figures - they have a 100% record, of being wrong."

True. They tend to be too optimistic

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Anonymous Coward

"trial new solutions on the TransPennine route to improve mobile and digital connectivity on trains"

Sod that, we want the improved trains and service that the Tories have been promising for ~10 years and which would make a much greater impact than HS2 (assuming that ever gets beyond Brum).

And don't tell us its "unaffordable" when you authorised 100 billion for the banks in the last year.

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Well you need something to keep yourself occupied as the Manchester to Sheffield train crawls through the hills.

There is one sure way to get improved services. Pretend you are a suburb of London

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There is one sure way to get improved services. Pretend you are a suburb of London

You seriously believe this?

Have you tried these cash-cow fleece the public services at all? Surely you didn't fail to notice the pathetic Southern Railway service that is being inflicted on their customers who pay very high ticket prices for Southern to not bother to run trains - made worse by the union's farcical statement that guard-free trains are suddenly dangerous when none of the various commuter lines I have used have ever had anything other than just a driver on them but the lines and trains aren't littered with dead bodies. The other train services aren't much better with frequent failures, massive overcrowding (livestock are assigned better conditions) and general horribleness.

Every year the ticket prices go up (usually a lot, ignore the headline figures that are averaged out over route ticket prices). Every year the shareholders get paid more. Every year the service gets worse.

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m-k

set aside an extra £3bn to prepare for Brexit

great, so you'll get that £350 Million per week on NHS after all!!!

...

what d'you mean "From your money, you f.... idiot!" How dareyou!

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Stamp Duty

You don't solve a problem of too much demand and not enough supply by cutting the tax that dampens demand.

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Unhappy

"You don't solve a problem..too much demand..not enough supply by cutting..that dampens demand."

When you put it as simply and directly as that it does sound quite stupid as a policy.

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Number of teachers is not the issue

I do a lot of STEM work and I am quite passionate about improving STEM education in school, especially in CS.

So increasing the number of CS teachers sounds great, but there are caveats. Firstly where are they to come from. Not from industry, who are struggling to recruit themselves and why would a CS grad want to to take a job with long hours, bureaucratic pressure and poor pay. The desire to make a difference to the next generation only goes so far.

The truth is announcing 8000 new teachers seems akin to the Soviet Union announcing tractor production targets

Then there are the schools themselves. STEM subjects are expensive to teach. They need extra resources that have to be bought out of schools stretched budgets. Therefore while many schools pay lip service to teaching STEM, most do the bare minimum. It does not matter how many STEM teachers there are, if the resources are not there to teach them effectively. While some schools have the resources to do an effective job, this is uneven and most rural or inner city schools just won't be able to do it

So here are my solutions.

Stop mucking about with ideological led programs such as free schools and the return of grammar schools and put the resources into existing schools instead.

Provide extra funds for basic STEM resources. including improve STEM teacher pay and reduce paperwork. This will increase retention

Encourage and incentivize business to form partnership with schools. I know many of my colleagues who would be happy to do joint programs with schools, but barriers at both the buisness and school level make this very hard

Make sure you have a long term strategy in place and keep to it. The Micro:Bit debacle shows what happens if you don't do that

Finally and most importantly, stop some of your government ministers undermining scientists from undermining science and scientists by playing to the post-factual crowd. It erodes the public's respect of science and make it harder to encourage kids to take it up as a subject

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Re: Number of teachers is not the issue

"Make sure you have a long term strategy in place and keep to it."

Two problems with that:

1) Any new policy takes at least a year to set up, then the kids are in secondary school for 5-7 years, then it will take at least a couple of years to see the results in the workplace. By then there'll have been one or two elections and "the other lot" might be in power, in which case they'll take any credit. And that would never do.

2) name me one minister, of any party, who's ever said "actually, my predecessor did quite a good job so I'll leave things as they are".

The actual kids and schools involved are well down the priority list.

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Re: Number of teachers is not the issue

Encourage and incentivize business to form partnership with schools. I know many of my colleagues who would be happy to do joint programs with schools, but barriers at both the buisness and school level make this very hard

Have you tried contacting and working with STEM (Learning) or, to a lesser extent, Engineering UK? Both have a lot of involvement and experience in getting schools and businesses together in STEM subjects.

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Re: Number of teachers is not the issue

Have you tried contacting and working with STEM (Learning) or, to a lesser extent, Engineering UK? Both have a lot of involvement and experience in getting schools and businesses together in STEM subjects.

Yes. Quite a lot actually. I am a STEM ambassador and spend a lot of time trying to get schools involved in running Barefoot sessions.

Which is why i know the issues. My company is very good about it, but at the end of the day, my time volunteering hits their bottom line. Unless your company is socially motivated, you will noy get a lot of support

Schools can range from "yes please help us" to "Why are you telling us how to do our job". Sometimes in the same school.

Volunteering is nice, but what actually needed is coordination of both industry and education level and encouragement to provide and make use of resources

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Budget: further details & analysis here.

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It's the most accurate analysis so far. :)

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