‘Micro meddling’ chancellor under fire

Link: Pre-Budget Report on 27 November

Shadow Liberal Democrat chancellor Matthew Taylor demanded a simpler tax system.

He complained: ‘The extraordinary thing about the extra layers of tax, which have increased the size of Tolleys, the tax guide bible, by almost a third in the short time the government have been in office, is that the Treasury have admitted that it is not even checking whether most of the changes are having any effect.

‘There is no process for analysing any of that complication to find out whether any of it is helping!’

Taylor said the truth was that it is ‘a total waste of money’ and the need now was to cut red tape on business.

He added: ‘It is time the chancellor recognised that one can load only so much red tape on to business before there is an inevitable cost in investment because companies will go to other countries where it is easier to operate.’

Trade and Industry Committee chairman Labour MP Martin O ‘Neil called for a broad-brush incentive to invest instead.

Former chancellor and Tory MP Kenneth Clarke warned a ‘correction’ to the housing market would hit hard and cause negative equity ‘before long’ and called for Brown to confront the issue and make business his priority in next week’s autumn pre-Budget statement.

Trade and Industry secretary Patricia Hewitt said Brown had cut red tape by simplifying VAT, saving small businesses £1,000 a year.

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