The Professional Contractors Group (PCG) has accused the Government of hypocrisy after Tony Blair announced that he intended to help small businesses "grow and prosper" in Britain.
During a meeting held at Downing Street last week, the Prime Minister acknowledged the importance of small firms to the economy and said the Government was taking steps to help entrepreneurs achieve success, which included "cutting back unnecessary business regulations".
"We have set out our aim to make Britain the best place in the world to set up and grow a business," Blair said.
However, the PCG has argued that the Prime Minister's comments are insincere and cites IR35 as a prime example of one Government initiative that penalises small businesses in the UK. "The Prime Minister has announced that he wants to make the UK the best place to start up businesses. However, next door in the Treasury, his paymaster general (Dawn Primarolo) is the architect of legislation which is destroying tens of thousands of small businesses," commented PCG chairman, Gareth Williams. "The UK had potentially the best knowledge-based economy in the world as small IT and engineering companies pushed back the barriers of innovation and enterprise.
"However, this Government chose not to treat them as the legitimate businesses that they are…It is hypocritical for anyone in Government to talk about wanting to help small businesses when IR35 remains on the statute books as testimony to the demise of many small entrepreneurial businesses."