Talk of Budget revolution

Twelve months ago the accountants had just one pre-Budget message for the chancellor: keep it simple and, unless absolutely necessary, keep your nose out of our business.

This time most seem to be clamouring for intervention. So what?s changed? Accountants have hardly undergone some Soviet-style conversion to planned economies and, perfectly justifiably, remain as hostile as ever to unnecessary red tape.

What is different is the nature of business. A year ago e-commerce was the language of change, now the much more fundamental e-business revolution is what companies are attempting to deliver.

Gordon Brown and Tony Blair have very publicly signed up to it ? later than many prominent businesses (think of established names like DHL and newer ones like, but earlier than thousands of others.

On 21 March Brown will aim to address the needs of both groups.For the first time since Labour swept to power almost three years ago Brown, companies and tax advisors are using the same language to ask the same question. How should the tax system be best used to create a fertile e-business environment?

Brown?s answers will be a test for the government. With probably greater regulatory pressures bearing down on companies today than ever before, Brown has to prove that when it comes to using the tax system to create a genuinely entrepreneurial environment he can stimulate not stifle.

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