‘Small crane’ needed to lift Finance Bill, warns English ICA as Budget looms

There are already 269 pages of draft legislation for just five tax proposals before chancellor Gordon Brown has even risen to make his Budget speech, the institute warned.

According to institute tax faculty technical manager, Francesca Lagerberg: ‘That’s good news for parliamentary draftsmen but bad news for those who will have to administer, advise on and live with the new rules. The government must accept that constant, complex changes are imposing enormous burdens on businesses and the economy as a whole.’

The five draft measures are: 28 pages on enterprise management incentives ; 38 pages on the new all-employee share plan; tonnage tax proposals running to 53 pages; 57 pages on the corporate venturing scheme; and, the Climate Change Levy at 93 pages.

‘These figures do not even take account of the draft legislation on charitable giving, stakeholder pensions, personal service companies and exclude the usual raft of income tax and other provisions,’ Lagerberg added.

Finance Bills have been getting longer and more complex. The 1999 Bill was 3 and a half times longer than that of 1978.


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