Government downplaying effects of tax changes on supply teachers, says PRISM
The Government is deliberately downplaying the effect of T&S changes after a Baroness petitioned ministers unsuccessfully for answers, PRISM has said.
Crawford Temple, CEO of PRISM, met Baroness Sharp of Guildford, Surrey, to ask for help in raising the issue.
The former economist and Lib Dem peer tabled a question in the House of Lords on the damage that could be inflicted on the education sector once supply teachers are effectively barred from claiming travel and subsistence (T&S) relief.
With less than three months before the changes take effect, Lord O’Neill of Gatley, Greater Manchester, was forced to admit on behalf of the Government that it had still not made any estimate of the impact on schools and the supply of teachers.
Temple said, “I am extremely grateful to Baroness Sharp for helping to raise this issue.
“The Government has once again revealed itself to be totally complacent over the damage this policy will do in classrooms up and down the country.”
PRISM is continuing its YES2T&S campaign against the tax reforms, which it says threatens to force up wage costs in sectors including construction, education, healthcare and IT.
Flexible workers in these industries, who have until now benefited from the tax relief in recognition of the way they work at a series of temporary workplaces with no job security, face a 20% pay cut overnight, PRISM has warned.
PRISM research has shown contractor supply teachers will lose £3,252 a year on average.
Temple also criticised claims the Treasury’s changes, coming into effect in April, would level the playing field for workers.
In his answer to the written question, Lord O'Neill insisted, “The planned changes will put supply teachers employed through an intermediary on the same terms as other supply teachers, either contracted directly, or through an agency contract.”
Temple said this was an attempt to divert attention away from the vital role contractors have played in helping to repair the British economy by providing a no-strings-attached labour force to stretched employers.
He commented, “The Government may claim a level playing field but you don’t see ministers insisting that contractors are given the same perks and securities as full-time employees. In fact, these rule changes could mean that full-time employees are able to claim more expenses than the contractors.”