‘Rishi not up to it' Britons turn on Sunak over tax change blamed for HGV driver exodus

Asia's Tech News Daily

A recent Road Haulage Association (RHA) survey found there was a shortage of more than 100,000 qualified drivers in the UK. Many of these drivers that have left the sector were from the EU. The UK Government has now been forced to introduce temporary visas for 5,000 lorry drivers to work in the UK.

Last week it was reported in the BBC that just over 20 of the 300 applications have been approved so far.

However, a tax code change has seen some HGV drivers lose up to 25 percent of their earnings.

The tax code is called IRR35.

This has been an obstacle in increasing the uptake of HGV drivers from within the UK.

© GETTY Chancellor Rishi Sunak
© GETTY Chancellor Rishi Sunak

It has been set up to prevent workers from getting paid through their own limited companies, thus paying less tax and National Insurance.

Now many HGV drivers who used to operate as self-employed under their own limited company, have now been paid as employees of logistics and distribution firms.

An Express.co.uk reader called, Niccolo Machiavelli, called the current dilemma “a tragic case of cause and effect” and has hit out at the Chancellor over tax issues.

The reader added: “By removing money from a working man’s pocket, the cumulative effect damages the economy, creating a net loss.

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© GETTY There is a HGV crisis in the UK

“Real economists understand that incentivising work creates more tax revenue in the medium term, creating a net gain.

“This chancellor is not up to it, all he’s done do far is tax.

“Higher pay is not proportional to intelligence or academic qualifications.”

Speaking about the IR35 tax code change, another reader called ‘jg’ stated: “Working conditions have a huge impact on pay.

“This is because it is a matter of supply and demand if someone works long hours and spends days away from home, in an unpleasant environment.

“Or, it is because the job is stressful, employers have to pay more to convince anyone to do the work.

“Conditions for HGV drivers are poor and the pay they receive does not provide sufficient compensation, so they have been leaving, British and EU alike.

“IR35 hit those working as contractors, so they left when that came into effect.”

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