A report on tax simplification by the former chancellor Lord Howe will call
for ‘a strong new convention’ that any changes to tax law with technical content
should be proposed well beforehand in the pre-budget report.
‘Such a convention would have avoided many of the problems we have seen over
the last year, with badly thought-through proposals produced with little
consultation and last-minute legislation rushed through parliament without
sufficient scrutiny,’ the report will say, according to the Guardian.
The shadow chancellor, George Osborne, is expected to accept the Howe
proposals when he attends the launch of the report in the City of London and to
also support a scheme to simplify the tax system and enable greater
parliamentary oversight of tax legislation.
The report calls for an ‘office of tax simplification’ (OTS) to examine the
existing tax code and make proposals to simplify it. The OTS would operate in a
similar way to the National Audit Office, reporting to a new joint parliamentary
select committee on taxation and overseen by a steering committee appointed by
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