Tories deny IR35 policy switch

The BBC this morning reported that junior shadow trade spokesman Alan Duncan pledged the Conservatives would do away with the controversial IR35 measures.

Speaking at this week’s Tory conference in Bournemouth, Duncan described IR35 as a ‘pernicious tax on IT consultants that has created a brain drain’.

He went on to say: ‘While at the same time the government is planning to ease immigration regulations to attract more IT workers into Britain. It is a policy not for the internet, but of inter-nuts.’

But a Conservative Party spokesperson told that there had been no change in policy and that Duncan had not pledged to scrap IR35. Last week trade and industry spokesman David Heathcoat-Amory promised to review the operation of the controversial measure.

IR35 was announced by the government in April 1999, after the Inland Revenue claimed many full-time employees were avoiding tax and National Insurance by setting up onr-person businesses. It stripped many freelancers working through their own companies of these previously held tax advantages.


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