9am Lowdown: Election, taxation distrust & small business hotspots

9am Lowdown
Richard Hattersley
Community correspondent
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Happy Friday! Here it is, folks, the last lowdown of the week. What news is bubbling to the surface in the accounting world today?  Unsurprisingly, the first story this morning is something no one expected at the beginning of this week: the general election. 

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Corporations to publish tax returns under Labour government

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn launched his campaign yesterday by setting his sights on the tax affairs of corporations, the BBC reported.  

"[T]he full tax returns of all medium and larger corporations [should] be published so everyone can see what is going on," Corbyn said. “We have a government that's far too ready to negotiate with companies about the amount of tax they pay."

In his first major election speech, the Labour leader vowed to “overturn the rigged system” which allowed tax avoiders to attract wealth “from the pockets of ordinary working people”.

Meanwhile, the government purdah comes into force at midnight tonight. Under purdah major policy changes would be restricted with the absence of parliament.

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Tax distrust high among low earners

A survey from the ACCA shows UK residents distrust politicians when it comes to tax matters, with confidence levels of low earners being the weakest.  

According to the Financial Times, only 6% of those earning under £20,000 a year trusted politicians on tax matters. Top earners also shared this scepticism, with 57% of households with income £120,000 or more distrusted politicians on tax.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, ACCA head of taxation said the very low levels of trust by low income earners could be attributed to benefit cuts, while the high earners’ higher trust might be because they’re more engaged with the tax system. “The more people try and unravel the way politicians work and interact with the tax regime, the more they are willing to understand and accept some of the decisions,” he said.

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Fancy starting a small business? Move to Oxford

Oxford has topped the list of cities which are best to start a small business.

According Nominet, cities such as Inverness, Cambridge and Durham follow Oxford as small business hotpots. The list was based on analysis of over 154,000 Google search terms and 63,000 national business listings. Other UK cities making up the top ten include: Durham, Portsmouth, Salisbury, Winchester, Hereford, Norwich and Bath.

Eleanor Bradley, chief operating officer of Nominet, said: “Setting up a new business can be daunting but giving consumers what they want, where they want it is the key to success.”


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