Rishi Sunak’s appointment as Prime Minister leaves business figures hoping for enhanced support

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It is not exactly news that the UK has gone through turbulent times, both politically and economically, in recent years – and indeed, even just in recent weeks. The latest such development has seen one-time Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak installed as Prime Minister, succeeding Liz Truss following the backlash the latter faced in response to her government’s “mini-Budget”.

All these events have naturally been well-documented elsewhere. So, as one of the leading accounting and payroll companies in Wellington, Plymouth and Newton Abbot here at TS Partners, we are instead mainly asking: what lies ahead for UK businesses as a result of the latest change of government, and what do those firms want from the new Prime Minister?

Independent professionals hope for (another) fresh look at IR35

One theme of Ms Truss’s leadership campaign, and the subject of action during her subsequent 50-day premiership, was the UK’s IR35 rules.

Her Government had pledged to repeal the 2017 and 2021 reforms to the off-payroll working rules. But amid the ensuing political and economic chaos, Jeremy Hunt replaced her short-lived first Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, and the IR35 decision was reversed – not exactly a popular move among many contractors and small business advisors.

The Truss Government had also looked to cancel a proposed rise in Corporation Tax for April 2023, only for that move to be, in itself, cancelled.

Needless to say, many an observer in the UK business world was hugely disappointed, with one of them – Seb Maley, an IR35 expert quoted by AccountancyAge – stating that the new Government needed to “press the reset button and rethink how the UK’s smallest businesses are treated.”

He added: “At a time of such uncertainty, the Prime Minister would do well to consider just how important independent workers are to the economy.”

Mr Maley urged Mr Sunak to publicly explain the reasoning behind the scrapping of the repeal, and said: “At the very least, the Government must review IR35, its flaws, and crucially, the issue of zero-rights employment.”

Meanwhile, hospitality firms around the country continue to feel the pressure

Another trend among the reactions to Mr Sunak’s ascendancy to 10 Downing Street, has been hope that further help will be forthcoming for businesses, although not all business owners appear to have the same things on their ‘wish-list’ as far as additional support is concerned.

A recent feature in The Guardian concentrating on the hospitality industry, for example, cited issues such as inflation, high energy bills, and a lack of staff as behind the sustained struggles for restaurants, bars and hotels that have already been laid low over the last few years by the COVID-19 crisis.

One owner of three pubs said that while the government had “fortunately” put in place a cap on energy bills during Liz Truss’s time as Prime Minister, “it’s still a significant problem”, as one of his pubs was still having to pay £38,000 a year for energy – a massive jump on what had once been £12,000 expenditure.

The pub owner noted that even Ms Truss’s energy support scheme was set to expire as soon as April next year – meaning “we cannot plan ahead… will we get help after that? We don’t know.”

Partner with one of the premier accounting and payroll companies in Wellington as we look to 2023

There’s no doubt about it; the pressures remain intense for many UK businesses, and if your firm is one of them, you will probably be keeping an eye out for the best possible services and solutions to help you overcome your challenges.

Make TS Partners your choice of accounting and payroll specialist this winter and beyond, and you can expect nothing less than the most professional, up-to-date, and cost-effective service.

To learn more about our expertise in these all-important fields and how we could help you, please don’t wait any longer to contact our Wellington, Plymouth, or Newton Abbot offices.