He said it would heap and extra £475m on national insurance on specialists and consultants hitting up to 66,000 hi-tech entrepreneurs, mainly in the IT field.
Portillo, who has performed policy U-turns of the Minimum Wage and Bank of England Independence, said: ‘As a direct consequence, a majority of IT contractors say they would consider leaving the country if the tax is introduced.
‘Mr Brown’s proposals show alarming naivete and a lack of understanding of the knowledge-based economy.
‘The tax will clobber bright mobile young people, who can easily fly off to find work elsewhere. A Brown Brain Drain. As a result Britain will lose its lead in E-commerce.
‘More important, a drip-drip exodus of Britain’s brightest will be storing up trouble long-term for the future of the UK economy.
‘I know I am not alone in my views, I have been contacted by organisations such as the Professional Contractors’ Group who say that the effect of Mr Brown’s actions will be to “kill the Enterprise Culture’.
‘By attempting to woo the IT world whilst quietly introducing IT stealth taxes, the government is saying one thing and doing another. ‘It’s time Labour actually delivered on what they say and abandoned this damaging new stealth tax before it does irreparable harm.’
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