Brown confirms 2004 Budget date

In an unusually early announcement, Brown announced the date today. Already tax experts are predicting that this will be one of the most difficult Budget rounds in recent years.

Aidan O’Carroll of Ernst & Young said: ‘The 2004 Budget speech is likely to focus on enterprise, an issue that encapsulates all of the positive messages that the Chancellor would like us to remember. Enterprise allows him to talk about innovation, entrepreneurship and growing businesses, and, because this part of his policy has been something of a success story, we are likely to hear all about it once again.

But he added: ‘He’ll be much quieter about the slow but steady inroads he’s making into our investment income and gains. In isolation the measures we’ve seen in recent months appear to be simply tidying up the tax system to close a variety of “loopholes”. Put them all together though and there is a disturbing feeling that, without openly increasing the tax burden on individuals, the Chancellor is attempting to gradually reform personal taxation by the back door.

‘If Gordon Brown is to meet his golden rule before the next election, tax revenues have to improve, but time is running out. At this late stage, isn’t it time for the Chancellor to come out with an honest assessment of the state of the economy instead of the usual platitudes?’

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