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