PracticeAccounting FirmsPre-Budget 2003: Tory CAs unimpressed with Brown

Pre-Budget 2003: Tory CAs unimpressed with Brown

Tory accountant MPs David Heathcoat-Amory and Nick Gibb have slammed the chancellor's reform efforts relating to international accounting standards and red tape, as well as his unwillingness to explain 'massive' net borrowing figures.

Link: Pre-Budget 2003 special

Heathcoat-Amory said ‘modest reforms’ like the concession to firms applying international accountancy rules and the working group tasked with cutting back EU red tape would not be enough to impact the increasing complexity of tax and other legislation since the introduction of IR35.

He said: ‘If there is a move towards simplification, I welcome it, but I think the overall effect of the package is more complexity. TheÿR&Dÿreliefs are well-meaning but in my experience they do not really lead to increases in expenditure and will not bring about the step change in investment, which the chancellor wants.

Tory Accountant MP Nick Gibbÿsaid Brown failed toÿanswer his challenge in the commons as to why net borrowing figures forÿthe next five years are in total a ‘massive’ £31bn higher than those announced in the last Spring Budget – and even higher if new figures for PFI liabilities were taken into account.

He added on international accounting concession: ‘Anything to reduce compliance burdens and regulations I am sure will have the full support of the Conservative opposition.’

Labour accountant MP Harry Cohen was more upbeat and welcomed Brown’s drive against European red tape and the relaxation for companies complying with international accounting standards.

But he said he was concerned over the change to new inflation measurements, the need for reform of local authority funding to make it more robust and the increase in borrowing because of the chancellor’s failure to balance the budget.

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