The government last week started to introduce its controversial IR35 tax plans - before consultations with contractors have officially begun.
Social security secretary Alistair Darling inserted clauses into the Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill on Friday, which the director of the Professional Contractors' Group David Ramsden called a "disgraceful" attempt to introduce IR35 before consultation. The proposal may cost freelancers 25 per cent of their income.
The government suspended debate on the bill on Tuesday after filibustering by Conservative MPs, but it will resume soon.
An Inland Revenue spokeswoman said next month's consultations with contractor groups would consider the, "practical application of the proposal and production of guidance," not the legislation itself.
However Mike Cullen, chairman of the British Computer Society's contractor group, said: "The point appeared to be to consult on the legislation's final form, not just the guidance notes."
IR35 must also be passed in this autumn's Finance Bill. The welfare reform clauses will come into effect only if the Finance Bill becomes law.
For more stories see this week's issue of Computing
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