BusinessCompany NewsBrown unlikely to surprise

Brown unlikely to surprise

Experts fear that Gordon Brown will do nothing to relieve the burden of red tape when he unveils his pre-Budget report on Wednesday next week.

Link: Bad news for Brown ahead of speech

The report has been mired in controversy since it became clear that tax revenues are falling while Brown seeks to find ways of funding increased public spending.

However, some specialists now feel the report could be a damp squib with few ‘big’ announcements, and little to relieve the regulatory pressures on business. ‘Most businessmen are jaundiced by it and will believe it when they see it,’ said Frank Haskew, senior technical manager at the ICAEW tax faculty.

Francesca Lagerberg, national tax director at top ten accountancy firm Smith and Williamson, believes that a plethora of minor issues will fill the report rather anything major.

‘There will probably be lots of little things rather than one barnstorming announcement that will make us all duck for cover,’ she said.

Among these will be further comment on the controversial residence and domicile tax rules. ‘This has got people pretty excited,’ said Lagerberg.

‘He will have to say something about them, even if it is just to announce a more formal review.’

Lagerberg also said there have been strong hints that Brown will help people working from home. ‘Maybe he will give a few more tax breaks to them,’ she said.

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