Brown to keep tax changes hidden in Budget
Analysis by Anne Redston of Ernst & Young of Gordon Brown's past seven Budget speeches reveals a disturbing upward trend in the amount of tax measures omitted from his address.
In 1997, just 22% of tax measures were omited, this rose to 46% in 2000 and last year’s Budget saw the chancellor exclude a staggering 60% of tax changes.
Redston commented: ‘Brown’s Budget speeches tend to have a ring of familiarity about them and, taking a look at the speeches over the past seven years, certain patterns seem to emerge. While on the one hand new tax increases are being omitted, well-worn tax reliefs are given re-treads and are repeated many times.’
As an example she said Brown had mentioned measures to help small businesses with VAT obligations in the last three Budgets. ‘Will the chancellor make it four this year?’ she asked.
The Budget speech is on the 17 March.