The Big Question – One too many, Gordon

Tuesday’s second Green Budget was intended to foster long-term tax planning among UK business by acting as an economic signpost before the traditional Budget in spring.

The Big Question survey, carried out by Accountancy Age and Reed Accountancy Personnel, found that out of 200 FDs, 42% felt the Green Budget did not give them the opportunity for effective tax planning. Only 11% felt Gordon Brown’s speech would help them run their business better with the balance undecided.

John Flint, FD of silk weaver Stephen Walters, said: ‘We feel the government is extremely keen to leak contentious issues causing unnecessary planning and then back down at a later date.’

Ken Brooks, FD of screen maker BVB Digital, said: ‘A statement of government plans is not a useful tool for business planning, although it might affect market sentiment.’

Other FDs were concerned over policy changes between the two Budgets.

‘There are often changes between the Budgets and it would be unwise to undertake fundamental tax planning activities until final decisions are known,’ said one.

Richard Fairbanks, FD of timber importer KDM International, was one of those who felt it helped. He said: ‘It helps planning for next year but it’s not as good as having the Budget now.’

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