Labour’s manifesto: Few tax surprises

Following the
there was little chance that
would contain much new in the way of tax and business
policy that hadn’t already been trailed by Alistair Darling. And that proved to
be the case upon its release today.

Pledging to cut £6bn out of the costs of regulation for business, there was
ironically more regulation announced for business in the same breath – at least
for institutional shareholders.

In looking to reform corporate governance, the UK Stewardship Code should be
strengthened and require shareholders to declare how they vote and for banks to
put their remuneration policies to shareholders for explicit approval.

A “toddler tax credit” was introduced. The child element of the child tax
credit will be increase by £4 a week for families with children aged one or two
from 2012 regardless of the amrital status of the parents.

Higher support threshold should be required for takeovers to go through. More
trust and employee-owned businesses are required, and will be reviewed by a
Labour government.

The tax system will be used to claw back from higher-earning offenders a
proportion of the costs of prison. Asset confiscation will be a standards
principle in sentencing, extended from cash, to houses and cars. Communities
will be able to vote on how these assets are used to pay back the community.

The Scottish
will be given additional tax-raising powers in line with
those proposed by the
. Under the proposals the Scottish parliament would raise
10% of its budget, but there have been concerns that tax would have to be raised
to maintain service levels, as pay levels have failed to grow in line with
public spending.

Further reading:

pledges £6bn cut in business regulation costs

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Bill carved out in deadline scramble

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