Boris Johnson has made it clear that Judicial Reviews are going to be affected by a Tory manifesto-pledged clampdown. He has targeted an area that is used by contractors to challenge retrospective taxation, IR35 reform, and IR35, in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
However, as the prime minister diverted an MP when he quoted word-for-word from the manifesto of his party that politics must not be conducted by another means via the abuse of Judicial Review, some more detail has come to surface from his Downing Street office.
According to an anonymous senior source from No 10, there appears to be an intent to usher in plans that can curb down Judicial Reviews. More worryingly, these plans are expected to accelerate “within months.”
This tip-off is expected to create tremors among taxpayers. Contractors who belong to IT are likely to be concerned over these turn of events. This is because these professionals form a demographics that has recently took advantage of Judicial Reviews to fight against the decisions by HMRC.
The No. 10 source hinted to the summer shutdown of the parliament by the prime minister—one that the Supreme Court deemed as illegal. He reported explained that it was necessary to go against individuals who were deliberate in their attempts to frustrate the government.
For the September ruling that did not go in his favour, Mr. Johnson stated that although the Judicial Reviews will remain “available”, the government has to make sure that they are not exploited to cause “needless delays”.
Perhaps, the latter indicates a nod to the previous Prime Minister, Theresa May, who got into similar court trouble two years ago. At the time, the court ruled against her for denying votes to MPs on Article 50.
Regardless, it is a matter of concern for IHPA, the freelance health sector body. It has called out it to be a vindictive, judged, and a myopic knee-jerk rejection in response to the Supreme Court Rulings for Brexit. They further stated that:
“It is unfortunately also a change which would cause lasting constitutional damage to a vital role of the judiciary, preventing overreaching of the executive long after Brexit is resolved.”
The general-secretary of IHPA, Dr. Ian Campbell, explained that there are suggestions that the Prime Minister may attempt to restrict the type of person who can launch a Judicial Review.