TaxPersonal TaxFinance Bill hit by time squeeze

Finance Bill hit by time squeeze

A general election in June will leave insufficient time to debate the government's 2001 Finance Bill.

The Bill runs to 290 pages and experts believe the limited amount of time given over to debating its contents undermines efforts to hold proper technical debates.

Heather Self, deputy president of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, said: ‘It highlights the absurdity of the way we pass complicated tax legislation. There’s very little technical debate on most measures. What the institute wants to see is a more formal process of consultation being the norm for a Finance Bill.’

If the general election had gone ahead in May the bill would have to be substantially reduced and would perhaps have run to no more than three clauses. As it is, experts believe a June date will still leave the government rushing through measures in the bill with a possibility that it may still have to be shortened.

There are few surprises in the bill. Improvements will be made to self-assessment and the government has held off from pushing through changes to foreign exchange rules.

More on the Finance Bill at Hefty Finance Bill disappoints critics

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