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IR35 protesters march on Parliament

Battle hots up as Commons tries again to push through proposals

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Angry protesters outside the House of Commons today have slammed Paymaster General Dawn Primarolo's open letter on IR35 proposals, accusing her of running to the press rather than meeting concerned representatives. Primarolo claimed in the letter -- released yesterday in time for a Commons debate today -- that all parties had been consulted and their concerns incorporated. Not true, said Susie Hughes, a spokeswoman for the Professional Contractors Group, who told The Register that the PCG was only allowed to meet with the Inland Revenue the day before the final proposals were released. "I don't call being told what will happen 'consultation'," she said. The House of Lords threw out IR35 last month, rejecting Government concessions which included scrapping the colander-like test for who would be included in the new legislation. Primarolo said in her open letter that the Government will reinstate the clause and send the Bill back to the Lords. Today's Commons debate prompted opponents to march on Parliament with the aim of lobbying MPs. The IR35 proposals, outlined in the March Budget, pointed to a change in the tax law which would close the 'loophole' of people paying less tax and national insurance when employed by their own companies. IT consultants will be especially affected. ® Related story Contractors: cast aside your IR 35 fears, Paymaster General says Don't email us. Visit The Register's forum and share your views with the world.

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