City boys have been done before

TS is getting fed up with suggestions, aired in certain quarters, that the government’s crackdown on city bonus-type schemes announced in last week’s Budget was the first time the government had used Dawn Primarolo’s notorious ‘retrospective’ statement from 2004’s pre-Budget report.

The statement had said that the government would clamp down on any schemes retrospectively if new forms of abuse appeared. So it came to pass, and last week the government stamped out various options and securities used to avoid tax and national insurance bills.

TS, devoted as we are to the utmost standards of accuracy, would like to point out to all those who say this is the first use of those powers: read the National Insurance Bill. It contained provisions for crackdowns on national insurance abuse effective from 2 December 2004.

Published in October 2005, it predates the Budget by a good few months.

Access the bill here:

TS could be wrong, of course. Anyone care to dispute our version of events?

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