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Press watch: CBI criticises lack of consultation

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The Financial Times reported (7 September 2015) that the CBI has criticised the lack of consultation over corporate tax changes introduced in George Osborne’s July Budget announcement, and that the government should show ‘renewed discipline’ in making tax policy.

The CBI was particularly critical of the restriction on corporate tax relief for the cost of goodwill, and the restriction on the use of losses by multinationals with offshore finance operations. In a letter to the financial secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke MP, the CBI said these ‘sent a confused message to multinationals looking to move business activity to the UK’ and ‘undermined confidence in a regime that was seen to be working well’. Both measures, reported the FT, are ‘likely to affect several hundred multinationals’ but are expected to raise almost £2bn by 2021.

While the CBI welcomed the government’s intention to publish detailed plans for future business taxes in a ‘business tax roadmap’ by April, it expressed concern about the ‘constant changes to pension tax relief’, a concern that was echoed by John Hayward in last week’s Tax Journal (4 September 2015). ‘It is all very well trying to make [pensions] simple once again’, Hayward wrote, ‘but there has to be a positive policy in future of no more amendments (if any politician would ever accept that!). In addition, on ensuring people have adequate savings for retirement, the flexible options available now and in future do not encourage this.’

Issue: 1276
Categories: News , Corporate taxes