It looks like the PCG (now IPSE) were susceptible to conservative Flattery before the 2010 election.
Prior to the election the Professional Contractors Group saw the Conservatives as the white knight riding to the rescue of contractors.
They would abolish the infernal IR35 tax set up by evil Labour.
The Conservatives realised this. They decided that a little flattery and a promise of a review, whilst promising nothing concrete other than that, would have the PCG leaders purring with delight.
IR35 Coup by IPSE
Here‘s an article that they posted on their site in 2010 announcing their IR35 ‘coup‘. The Shadow Minister said it was all down to the PCG‘s successful lobbying efforts.
When they Conservatives got in they were as true as their word and set up an IR35 Review Panel. It recommended that IR35 should be kept. There was the danger that contractors would dump their umbrella companies and move back into Limited Companies.
Strengthened IR35 Rules
However, not only did the Coalition government accept that conclusion that IR35 should be kept but the Chancellor announced at the last Budget that IR35 would be STRENGTHENED.
To this purpose he hired a 36-strong team based in Salford, Edinburgh and Croydon to hunt down contractors.
Business Entity Tests
Also, HMRC have used an IR35 Business Entity Test that the PCG created to frighten contractors into thinking they are all at High Risk of being inside IR35.
One hopes that the next time the Big Bad Wolf comes to their doors that the PCG act with a bit more suspicion. They should demand hard promises rather than a ‘review‘.
Let’s hope they are not conned by Conservative flattery ever again.
One doubts it somehow.