Government – Tories call for Budget audit body

A new independent body of accountants is needed to audit Budgets and guarantee clear figures of the tax burden on individuals and businesses, shadow chancellor Francis Maude said this week.

Speaking in the Commons on Tuesday at the second reading of the Finance Bill implementing last month’s Budget, he promised a future Tory government would establish an independent Budget office to scrutinise and audit the contents of Budgets and other documents issued by the Treasury on tax and spending issues.

The office would also ensure consistency in the presentation of Budget figures so tax and spending comparison could easily be made from year to year, with the same tabled figures appearing in the same place in Budget documents.

Mr Maude said the office would ensure that ‘never again would a government be allowed to get away with the kind of misrepresentation we have seen from Labour over the last month – saying taxes are falling when they are rising and saying businesses are paying less when they are paying more.’

A Bill requiring governments to issue individual tax bills has been tabled by backbench Tory MP Tim Loughton. The Bill would secure an annual statement of taxes paid each year compared to the previous year.

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