Rishi Sunak is already sparking controversy in his new role as Chancellor. As the seemingly earnest Sunak attempts to navigate the political minefield, it seems that his comments have unintentionally detonated the anger of the British public.
Sunak first hit a sore spot when he waded into the off-payroll debacle, attempting to reassure businesses that the government will ‘go easy’ in the first year of enforcing the reforms. The innocuous nature of his comments struck the wrong chord, given that those assuming the heavy burden of tax liability wanted something a bit more concrete.
Stakeholders were quick to trample Sunak’s white flag, claiming that his comments simply swerved the need for affirmative action. Given the lack of preparedness that’s causing many companies to panic-ban contractors from working through their limited companies, stakeholders are demanding an immediate ceasefire.
Media coverage showed the new Chancellor, along with survivors from the cabinet shakeup, parroting back Johnson’s policies like schoolchildren, making it unlikely that Sunak would be the renegade to put a spoke in the wheels of off-payroll reform. News that he’d spent time with HMRC discussing a soft landing for the new rules was hailed as a copout.
Yet Sunak, in his new role, has perhaps done as much as the circumstances allow for. Javid’s swift departure following a disagreement with the PM shows how little room for manoeuvre there is once the government has its sights set – in this case on the ‘promise’ of an extra £1.2 billion in tax revenue.
As Sunak committed his second faux pas of the week, misguidedly posing for the camera next to a bumper bag of Yorkshire Tea, the public went for the jugular. Although it’s difficult to ascertain what, or indeed who, the outrage was specifically aimed at, the sight of Sunak making a brew for his Tory colleagues became a subject of heated debate.
As Yorkshire Tea attempted to argue political neutrality, pointing out that Jeremy Corbyn also enjoys their award-winning blend, accusations that the tea company had benefited from a covert advertising opportunity were rife. While it’s difficult to say if Westminster gets knock down prices on their bulk bags of brew in exchange for influencing the nation’s choice of beverage, it’s good to know that the British public won’t be fooled.
This content has been supplied by IR35 Guru.
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