Tory business manifesto under attack

The Labour party claimed Tory promises contained in ‘Common Sense for Business’ were based on sums that were out by ‘billions of pounds’, while the Liberal Democrats said the Tories planned to raise taxes, despite what they promised in their manifesto, adding that Conservative policies were aimed in the wrong direction.

In their manifesto the Tories promised to scrap IR35, raise the value of approved share options, reform Capital Gains Tax, slash business rates and abolish the Climate Change Levy and Aggregates Levy.

The official opposition pledged to leave National Insurance Contributions unchanged, except to cover the switch from Climate Change Levy to a new tax called the Carbon Tax.

The Conservative Party said raising the Inheritance Tax threshold would be amongst its priorities and promised a major simplification of VAT, allowing businesses six weeks to pay their tax bills every quarter.

And an incoming Conservative government would review the operation of Stamp Duty and examine options for reform. It would also consider introducing a wide range of tax simplification measures to encourage venture capital investment

Labour’s manifesto

The Labour Party’s business manifesto, released earlier, proposed a new R & D tax credit to promote business investment in research and promised to act on the Myners report by identifying weaknesses in the venture capital market and abolishing the minimum funding requirement.

Labour promised to toughen the law on rogue traders and cut back on all the red tape it had created, including implementing de-regulation in some cases. In addition it promised to make the Small Business Service ‘an advocate for small business in government and a servant of small business around the country’.

The party said it was committed to reforming the tax treatment of small businesses and seeking a reduction in payroll burdens.

And, if it triumphs at the polls, Labour promised to reform bankruptcy laws to ensure second chances for people who go bankrupt through no fault of their own.

Lastly it pledged to make funds available for new start-up ventures and modernise company law to promote transparency.


Election 2001

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