Under the controversial 'IR35' proposals, ministers want to force thousands of consultants in fields such as information technology to pay tax and national insurance as though they were employed by the service they work with. Necessary clauses are contained in the troubled Bill.
They may be lost in a stand-off between the House of Commons and the House of Lords over other provisions in the Bill dealing with disability benefit and war widow's pensions.
Last night the Lords, for the second time, struck out these elements of the Bill, forcing the government into a new debate in the Commons.
Social Security Secretary Alistair Darling said was confident he would win a majority in the Commons and was relying on a climb down by hereditary Tory Peers in the Lords to get the Bill, including the IR35 provision, on the statute.
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