Support grows for NICs and tax merger

A one-year consultation period on the proposals, set out in a document called Simplifying National Insurance Contributions for Employers, closed last week. The aim of the consultation was to find whether employers’ representatives are in favour of such a move.

It was announced in chancellor Gordon Brown’s pre-budget report in November 1999 when concerns over the regulatory burdens placed on business were increasing.

In its response to the consultation, the British Chambers of Commerce was highly critical of successive governments’ refusal to merge the systems, which the Better Regulation Task Force have recommended would deliver ‘the really big regulatory gains’.

Chris Humphries, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce said: ‘Business has grown increasingly frustrated at the lack of desire in government to take a radical approach to reform of the tax system.

‘Tinkering with tax can bring only minor regulatory gains. If government is serious about reducing the burden on employers, the answer lies in a single regulatory framework for tax and national insurance.’

It is understood the BCC is to embark on a campaign for wide-scale simplification of the tax system.

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