PracticeConsultingLeader – The Budget needs a fair hearing.

Leader - The Budget needs a fair hearing.

Accountancy Age has never been shy in claiming the credit for influencing great events. But even we would be hard put to say that last week’s government admission that the tax burden is rising, not falling, was the result of last week’s Accountancy Age leader. The prime minister’s spokesman made his historic admission as the presses were running with our call for an honest Budget. Coming clean about the direction of tax policy is very welcome but it is only a first step. The culture of openness and consultation needs to go much further. The fiasco that has been the IR35 consultation shows that ministers, and those who serve them, still see accountants as the enemies of fair taxation. The Revenue has an unenviable task. While Gordon Brown publicly proclaims his commitment to fairness, the Revenue and Customs have clearly been told to go out and milk the taxpayer for every last penny. At least Denis Healey had the honesty to make his ‘squeeze the rich till the pips squeak’ policy explicit. This government does not care if they are rich or not. Maximising the tax take is the watchword. In reality Gordon Brown’s fair tax policies can only be made to work fairly if he consults and informs the profession. The mechanisms are there. The profession has shown it can keep confidences and offer valuable implementation advice. There must be no repeat of the IR35 fiasco.

Related Articles

5 tips for SMEs to protect cash flow

Accounting Software 5 tips for SMEs to protect cash flow

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Tyrie on Finance Bill 2017: ‘Making Tax Policy Better’

Consulting Tyrie on Finance Bill 2017: ‘Making Tax Policy Better’

11m Stephanie Wix, Writer
Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Richard Toone, CVR Global

Accounting Firms Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Richard Toone, CVR Global

12m Kevin Reed, Writer
Deloitte 'self-imposes exile' on government contracts to defuse PM row

Accounting Firms Deloitte 'self-imposes exile' on government contracts to defuse PM row

12m Kevin Reed, Writer
Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Julie Adams, Menzies

Accounting Firms Managing partner Q&A - the year ahead: Julie Adams, Menzies

12m Kevin Reed, Writer
Friday Afternoon Live: Deloitte's tech thing; PAC wants HMRC 'contingencies'; and Sports Direct

Business Regulation Friday Afternoon Live: Deloitte's tech thing; PAC wants HMRC 'contingencies'; and Sports Direct

1y Kevin Reed, Writer
Friday Afternoon Live: HMRC complaints rise; Deloitte scoops big audits; and corporate reporting woes

Audit Friday Afternoon Live: HMRC complaints rise; Deloitte scoops big audits; and corporate reporting woes

1y Kevin Reed, Writer
New head of equity capital markets for KPMG

Accounting Firms New head of equity capital markets for KPMG

1y Stephanie Wix, Writer