TaxPersonal TaxPre-Budget statement in full: Scroll down for headlines

Pre-Budget statement in full: Scroll down for headlines

Tax experts were united in their disappointment at the pre-Budget statement by Gordon Brown. 'Conservative, promises-for-tomorrow and administratively-cumbersome,' said one. 'Smoke and mirrors,' said another. 'A mass of small details which tax payers and smaller business find impenetrable,' said a third.

But should we expect more?

Like the Budget itself, the pre-Budget report is about politics not economics. Only more so. It’s more of a Budget preview and Budget review: an opportunity for the government to promise jam tomorrow, and pat themselves on their collective back for promising jam yesterday as well.

Gordon Brown’s conjuring trick will have failed to appease the fuel protestors but he did enough to make himself appear a reasonable man. Similarly he was careful to position himself as a chancellor doing his bit to help pensioners.

But despite those careful political manoeuvres we are left with a tax system every bit as complicated as the one we were already fed up with yesterday.However, there were some small chinks of light.

The Pre-Budget report invited consultation between business and the government on a number of important tax issues – including withholding tax, intellectual property and capital gains tax reforms – something it has conspicuously failed to do in the past.

But until there fundamental change to the tax system replaces tinkering no pre-Budget report – or Budget for that matter – is going to put an end to that.

For more on the pre-Budget report, click on the headlines below.

Chancellor moves to stave off fuel protests

VAT changes for small business

Goodwill change forces up price of businesses

LLP avoidance threat

More tax relief for share options

Construction industry tax changes

Portillo slams Brown for ‘meddling’

Concerns grow for deferral relief

Churches to get VAT help

ISA reform ‘too complicated’

Brown widens low CGT rate

Plans to retain car mileage system welcomed

Brown ‘abolishes’ state pension

New calculation for DTR

Electronic conveyancing ‘near’

Ernst & Young reaction

Election war chest hits £16.6bn

The fuel crisis

On the fuel shortage

Looking beyond petrol

Fuel crisis did hurt, say FDs

Toll VAT compounds motorists’ misery

Other stories and information

Tax burden hits record high

AccountancyAge.com IR35 resource centre

News Analysis: Taking on the government on tax

ICAEW attacks ‘unclear’ tax system

The last Budget

The Budget needs a fair hearing

Budget 2000: NHS is real winner

Budget 2000: The devil is always in the detail

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