War could postpone Budget legislation

Link: Preview: Budget 2003

Loughlin Hickey, head of tax of KPMG, said the war could ‘get Brown off the hook’ from announcing unpopular measures to fund the rising tax deficit.

Hickey believes Brown can easily argue the war with Iraq is ‘distracting us at the moment’, while the total costs of war are not yet known but will significantly influence the Budget.

In that case, Brown will ‘keep this the shorter finance bill, and later in the year use the pre-Budget to introduce legislation. It is not usual to introduce legislation at the pre-Budget, but there are precedents,’ Hickey said.

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