Business – Insurance chiefs voice tax fear

Finance chiefs of UK insurance companies have warned the government that introducing the Scottish variable tax will cost the industry #150m.

The warning follows a survey by PA Consulting last week which showed companies with Scottish customers will be forced to make huge changes to administration systems.

A spokesman for Scottish Widows said the company had made representations to the government. He said: ‘We would like to explain the scope for a lower-cost objective. There are a number of ways the impact could be reduced.’

Nick Hammond, a tax manager at Cornhill Insurance, described the impact of the tax on his company as ‘awful’. He added: ‘We have no way of looking at it at the moment.’

A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers said it was in discussion with members on the issue.

Gary Miles, a member of the management team at PA Consulting, said the #5m average cost for new systems to differentiate between taxpayers will come at a time when the industry ‘doesn’t have resources to deal with it.’

Related reading