This page concerns correspondence until 1st October 1999 with MPs and government ministers in an attempt to deflect or block IR35.
Derek Wyatt MP managed to solicit some responses following his earlier enquiry on my behalf.
Firstly, the Department of Social Security denied the matter was anything to do with them (though please note that it was their Bill put before Parliament, demonstrating how the IR35 clauses were foisted on the DSS by the Treasury in effect).
Then Dawn Primarolo MP, as the Paymaster General at the Treasury, responded. We now know that the consultation to which she alludes was, bluntly, a sham (the Inland Revenue would not talk to any of the IT small businesses concerned nor significant representatives such as the Professional Contractors Group). It has been unkindly suggested that Dawn Primarolo MP and colleagues at the Treasury are persuing the envy-driven ``soak the rich'' policy they failed to carry through last time Labour was in government and from their town-hall days; if true this would not be a responsible way to run the UK, out of personal bitterness and spite. Nor would it be the best way to encourage entrepreneurial activity in the Internet and e-commerce sector shown by many small businesses.
As you know, your letter of 27 July to Stephen Timms enclosing correspondence from your constituent, Mr D Hart-Davis of [ExNet] Ltd, 45 Beresford Road, Kingston about the provision of personal services has been passed to the Treasury. I am replying as Minister responsible.
I would like to thank Mr Hart-Davis for his comments on this issue which have been reported to Ministers as part of the present consultative exercise. I hope that you will understand that I am unable to respond to specific enquiries with respect to individual consequences of any eventual new rules. This is because the rules will not be finalised until the consultation process is complete. I have asked the Inland Revenue to continue to collate and report comments until further notice, so I can confirm that the consultation remains ongoing at the present time.
The Inland Revenue will publish further information as soon as it is available.
Dawn Primarolo, MP
Next: Correspondence up to 31st December 1999.