GAAR to be in Budget, Clegg indicates

A GENERAL anti-avoidance rule is likely to be included in the 2012 Budget, the Prime Minister and Deputy PM have indicated

In an interview with the BBC, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (pictured) did not confirm there would be a GAAR in the Budget, but said: “We have received a report from an expert, Graham Aaronson, which says an anti-abuse rule is feasible. I very much hope…[that] we can make progress on that in the Budget.”

David Cameron said in a speech at the Intuit headquarters in Maidenhead that HM Revenue & Customs had to collect the money in a “fair and business-friendly manner”. However, he said a tough approach is needed: “With the large companies, that have the fancy corporate lawyers and the rest of it, I think we need a tougher approach.”

The government will continue to cut the rate of corporation tax, and businesses should recognise they “should pay that rate of tax rather than try to avoid it”.

Clegg also attacked the “wealthy elite” who paid “an army of accountants” to avoid taxes.

Owen Smith, the shadow Exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said that the GAAR proposals were “narrowly focussed”.

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