Tory leader William Hague has committed his party to 'reforming' the controversial IR35 crackdown on personal services companies.
But his ‘pre-manifesto document’ – Believing in Britain – unveiled by Hague today, fell short of promising to undo the IR35 changes introduced by Labour.
It also ignored calls for easing the tax and national insurance treatment treatment of share options.
Shadow chancellor Michael Portillo, to whom Hague repeatedly deferred, also made it clear there is now no pledge on tax incentives on private health insurance and offered no detail on the restoration of some form of tax allowance for married couples.
He insisted on keeping his powder dry on tax spending until closer to the general election next year.
Hague’s formal commitment on keeping taxes down was limited to ‘we will be a tax-cutting government – in all normal circumstance will reduce the burden of taxation’.
He added that a Council of Economic Advisors will be set up to advise a Tory chancellor on ‘a prudent approach’ on spending and taxation, which would be designed to secure low inflation low interest rates.