Clegg signals backtracking on CGT

John Redwood

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg appears to have conceded that proposals
for an increase in capital gains tax will have to be tempered to meet angry
criticism from Tory right-wingers.

During an interview on BBC’s Radio 4 he declined to be drawn on exactly what
form concessions might take but indicated work is under way and that some form
of tapering is among options being considered.

Critics have urged protection for savers who have invested in property for
their retirement as well as for business assets.

He said: “It is impossible to start picking off whether you believe in
indexation, so you don’t tax the increase in the value of assets through
inflation, and you have to couple that with consideration of what rates you use.

He said speculation on the outcome was futile because the work has not yet
been finished.

The Coalition Agreement specifies: “We will seek ways of taxing non-business
capital gains at rates similar or close to those applied to income, with
generous exemptions for entrepreneurial business activities.”

The later Queen’s Speech watered this down to: “Capital gains on non-business
assets will be tackled at rates closer to those applied to income tax, with
generous exemptions for entrepreneurs.”

Lib Dem leaders ascribe fury on the Tory right, lead by former Tory minister
John Redwood, for being at least partly responsible for the political attacks on
former Chief Secretary David Laws and on his replacement Danny Alexander.

Laws quit after it was alleged he claimed rent paid to his gay partner
against Commons expenses rules.

Alexander has been accused of avoiding CGT on selling a second home in London
after buying a main home in Aviemore.

He was also derided as “Minister for Gluttony” after it was disclosed he
claimed £14,000 over four years in subsistence to which he was entitled under
the rules.

Read more:

home resident to be caught by CGT rise

reform under Redwood attack

Related reading