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Budget analysis: Employment taxes

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The Chancellor announced a reduction in the top rate of income tax from 50% to 45% and measures to achieve the Coalition government’s goal of individuals earning the first £10,000 tax free. He provided a welcome boost to employee share ownership by increasing the limit on Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) options from £120,000 to £250,000 per employee and announced new measures to extend entrepreneurs' relief (ER) to gains made on shares acquired through EMI. In a year of auto-enrolment for pensions, employers will breathe a sigh of relief that pensions tax relief remained largely unchanged, although measures to curb avoidance were announced.

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