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Election comment – View from advisers: The lack of transparency in tax policy

Taxation has been a central battleground in the initial skirmishes of the General Election campaign. It is hardly surprising but nonetheless rather dispiriting to note that the debate has so far generated more heat than light. The Conservative proposal to keep national insurance at present levels on income up to £45 000 has proved a visceral dividing line in the opening days of the campaign. However we are concerned that George Osborne's proposals which would also maintain current levels of employer's contributions below a revised Upper Earnings Limited would introduce further complexities to employers dealing with the already creaking PAYE and NIC system.

Before the December 2009 Pre-Budget Report (PBR) we believe that on a prudent estimate any post-election government will need to raise at least £25 billion in additional taxes. Although outcome for 2009/10 undershot the shocking PBR...

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