This week’s blogs: student numbers

So what implications does the Budget have for student accountants? As we are
all junior in our role, the main headline of the 50% top rate of tax should not
affect any of us. And if there are any students out there earning over £150,000,
I don’t think they could feel too irked anyway on that rate of pay!

As expected, duty on alcohol has increased yet again, this time by 2%. I
would say this affects the majority of the public, not just students. It is one
of those subjects that is difficult to grumble about. This will only add about
1p on a pint and those in the health industry will certainly not be opposed to
the move.

So to sum up, although the Budget has upset a lot of people (Mr Cameron
seemed particularly disgruntled), I envisage that it will not have too negative
an effect on myself or my fellow students.

Daniel Chown, CA student at PKF (UK) LLP

Gordon Brown will never be elected Prime Minister, but that won’t stop him
drawing a pension of well in excess of £120K p.a. for the rest of his natural.
His cabinet colleagues won’t do quite as well, but fear not, they will be
comfortably looked after on over £50K p.a. minimum.

In the public sector, from firemen to tax collectors, two-thirds final salary
pensions, index-linked, are commonplace.

Brown has form when it comes to pensions, so we shouldn’t be too surprised at
his deliberate targeting of people in the private sector. But he and his
colleagues ought to wake up to the reality of the divided society he’s creating
– the ‘haves’ in the public sector whose gold-plated final salary pensions are
paid by the ‘have nots’ in the private sector.

You don’t often see the grey-hairs rioting, but this will be the final straw
for many.

Peter Rogol, partner, Goodman Jones,

Simply stated, with ever reduced internal resources, HMRC need to be able to
rely on the work done by reputable accountants and tax advisers.

If you are in practice, you can either help clients to fulfil their legal
obligations in a professional manner, or you can (deliberately or otherwise)
keep your clients’ tax bills to a minimum through dubious means while hoping
HMRC’s stretched resources will not catch up with you.

Now is not the time to dismiss this invitation to contribute to the debate.
[The consultation Working with tax agents] is a once in a lifetime chance to
contribute to HMRC’s plans to enhance its relationship with accountants and

Mark Lee, chairman, Tax Advice Network,

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