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Government shelves anti-avoidance measures

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6th Apr 2005
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Houses of ParliamentA 'Finance (No 2) Bill' is to be considered by the House of Commons today, 6 April and by the House of Lords on 7 April. The original Finance Bill has been withdrawn.

All stages of a new Bill to enact measures based on 29 of the Budget 2005 resolutions will be considered during the next two days. Parliament is expected to be dissolved by next Monday, 11 April.

The FT reported that Gordon Brown will "shelve" controversial tax avoidance measures until after the election. It quoted George Osborne, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, as saying that the chancellor had agreed to "strip out" 77 of the Bill's 172 clauses.

A House of Commons statement of the order of business for 6 April said the Chancellor will "move that, of the Resolutions of the 22nd day of March last, the following be read":

(a) Nos. 1 to 6, 11 to 17, 22 to 27, 30, 43, 47, 48, 50 to 53, 56 and 58;
(b) Procedure (Lorry Road-User Charge);
(c) paragraphs (a), (e) and (f) of Procedure (Future Taxation); and
(d) paragraph (b) of Finance (Money).

The resolutions mentioned in (a) concern the following matters:

  • 1 to 6: Excise duties
  • 11 to 17: Income tax and corporation tax rates
  • 22 to 27: Alternative finance arrangements; Film production etc; Partnerships (income tax); Accounting practice; Securitisation companies; and Double taxation relief.
  • 30: Annual payments for consideration
  • 43: Tonnage tax
  • 47: Stamp duty land tax and stamp duty (thresholds)
  • 48: Stamp duty land tax and stamp duty (removal of disadvantaged areas relief)
  • 50 to 53: Inheritance tax (rate bands for next three years); Rate of landfill tax; Pension schemes etc; Pension Protection Fund etc.
  • 56: Civil partnerships etc
  • 58: Relief from tax (incidental and consequential charges)

Andrew Goodall
Editor, TaxZone

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By peter465
07th Apr 2005 12:39

Parliament gives detailed scrutiny to th F (No2) Bill
The Chancellor may have stripped something out of the Finance (No2) Bill 2005 but it is apalling to see that members of parliament passed a bill containing 203 pages of detailed legislation effectively on the nod. This is presumably the type of detailed scrutiny that we can expect to be given to legislation by our politicians (see Pre Owned Assets from last years Act to name just one poorly drafted item), so we should be satisfied. Or was it a case of them wanting to get quickly to the hustings in order to secure a further term in Parliament a good salary, large expense account and a secure pension and who cares if none of us can understand the tax system anymore! In 1992 Labour forced the government to have a true skeleton bill why didn't the Tories or Liberals this time?

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