The drive is spearheaded by Edward Davey, the party’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury. Speaking on its launch, he said Britain’s tax system was ‘ridiculously comple and that complexity costs business, individuals and the government’.
‘At every Budget the level of complication increases and the tax maze gets longer. The current system is complicated and opaque and is a costly minefield to many individuals and businesses.
‘Liberal Democrats believe Gordon Brown should announce a new strategy for simpler tax in tomorrow’s budget. It is no longer enough to have a “Comprehensive Spending Review” without a “Comprehensive Taxation Review” to assess its impact on business.
‘We also propose five “quick wins” for tomorrow’s budget, including simpler marriage allowances for Britain’s pensioners, a shorter annual tax return and an easier VAT reclaim system for business start-ups.’
The “Simpler Tax” campaign is based on a website, www.simplertax.org.uk and a monthly e-newsletter, sent to hundreds of top tax professionals, businesses, academics and finance journalists.
Simpler Tax will consult on radical ideas over the next 2 years, including:
- the replacement of the annual Finance Bill with a biennial Bill;
- the abolition of the contributory principle of national insurance;
- the abolition of the coding system of PAYE for income tax & NICs;
- the merger of Customs and Excise with the Inland Revenue
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