UK e-minister, Patricia Hewitt, is planning to resolve IT skills shortages by luring ex-pats in the US back to the domestic market.
She plans to launch an appeal to ex-pats "to come back here", by telling them, "it's the most exciting place to be in terms of new technology".
Contractors doubt the success of this scheme because of the level of capital gains tax and National Insurance contributions in the UK. Some have also cited the government's IR35 tax reforms for contractors as a reason not to return.
Here are some responses to her plans:
"I wish her luck - the coming months will be some of the toughest times for the IT industry, with the implementation of IR35.
It has been stated that an extra 2000 staff will need to be employed at the Inland Revenue to process all the contracts. More IT contractors, including myself, are considering leaving the country, just to offset the costs involved: the proposed five per cent expenses of gross income ruling is ridiculous when you consider that includes all office equipment, computers, software and training. With the statement that training will not be tax deductable, it shows how out of touch ministers are with each other and the outside world."
"It's a joke. They implement IR35, then expect people to come back!
It terrifies me that people like this are in control of our armed forces and, more importantly, our nuclear arsenal.
They're mad. They should be making plans to cope with the systems outages which are coming because of IR35."
"How far out of touch with reality can this woman go before she's booted out? Has she any concept of the IR35 issues?"
"I'm an ex-pat Brit living in the US and working on internet and ecommerce projects. Until three years ago I worked as a freelance contractor in London and the South-East. I have just read the article on your website p>Colin Patel-Murray (a sad ex-pat)
"I cannot believe that the e-minister has the audacity to say something like this. I know of three contractors who are leaving the country because of the IR35 legislation. As I know about 30 contractors, I guess that gives a loss of about 10 per cent. How are they going to make up this shortfall too?"
"How is she going to make this work with IR35? Who in their right mind is going to come back and pay more tax!"
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