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Pre-election Budget set for 16 March

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23rd Feb 2005
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Gordon BrownGordon Brown has announced that he will deliver the 2005 Budget, his last before the general election, on Wednesday 16 March.

Reports said Brown announced the date in a ministerial statement to the House of Commons this morning.

A Treasury spokesperson confirmed that the Budget will be delivered on 16 March at 12.30pm.

Golden rule
Brown's critics say he will have to raise taxes after the election, widely expected on 5 May, in order to meet his fiscal rules.

His "golden rule" says he must borrow only to invest over the economic cycle, not for current spending. Tax receipts in January exceeded expectations and the Treasury has maintained that it is on target to meet all fiscal rules.

The Conservative Party has promised tax cuts of £4bn should it win the election. On Monday it committed an estimated £1.3bn of that money in promised council tax discounts for over 65s.

Short Finance Bill
An election seems likely to be called soon after Budget day, possibly immediately after Easter. In that event a short Finance Bill is likely to proceed quickly through Parliament, with a second Bill following after the election.

Chiltern, the professional services group, pointed out that the chancellor might seek instead to rush through the Budget proposals by imposing a guillotine measure on the Finance Bill Standing Committee's proceedings.

Andrew Goodall
[email protected]

Related articles:
Firms parade Budget 2005 wish lists

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Replies (6)

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Andrew Goodall
By Andrew Goodall
24th Feb 2005 10:44

Response to B Shipley
The Treasury paper, 'Small companies, the self-employed and the tax system: a discussion paper', issued in December, is still under consideration. We may see some developments in the Budget, but some commentators suggested that no radical changes are likely for some time. See:

Time for radical thinking on small business tax

More on the Budget later …

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By User deleted
24th Feb 2005 12:13

No Mandate? No One Really Cares!
When Tories rant on about Britishness etc they revert to Victorianna type. An era long gone. It follows when they talk of public spending cuts they usually mean ' petty cuts' aimed at left wing/labour controlled council employees and the poor. May I remind you that Conservatives take a great deal from the public purse as well. As it should be. I assume they too will naturally be part of any cuts or socio-economic changes envisaged? Mmmmm.. I mean, take a leading politico like Ken Livingstone. His defence of free speech is priceless and is sponsored indirectly by the taxpayer. Ditto Boris. If you believe in democracy you accept the HM's Government of the day no matter who that may be. If you dont get a mandate you dont have a complaint. So it follows nothing will happen in the coming Budget and the real one will come once Labour are safetly re-elected. I think this is a good thing because I would like to see the tax credits project finished and stronger British integration with the EU. Also more people using their vote. That's the future not just the greedy enterprising types blaming the public sector all the time. Mixed market economy.

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By dstickl
24th Feb 2005 12:28

Blair's actions are against British integration with the EU.

Sorry but Blair's actions against British integration with the EU, speak louder than his words.

For example:
* Tony Blair chose NOT to opt in to the 2003 Euro Directive, for Euro payments via bank cheques. BUT Sweden did, so that a Swedish Bank will charge 10Kr, or 76 p, to process a cheque. In the UK I have to pay 10x (ten times) more. Source BBC Radio 4 Money Box.

* Nottingham Local Cable analogue tv used to re-broadcast: 2 German language channels, 1 French language channel, 1 Spanish language channel, and 1 Italian language channel, a few years ago. But they stopped "because the Labour Government legislation no longer required it". I believe that decision by Tony Blair etc is appalling for UK long term commercial viability, because one of the things european states really care about is their local languages - second only to their food, IMHO!

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By Albasas
23rd Feb 2005 17:12

Yes, But Pigs Will Fly Over The Mayor Of London First !
"The Conservative Party has promised tax cuts of £4bn should it win the election."
File under strangest news of this week. More big porkies from Howard & Letwin..

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By User deleted
24th Feb 2005 10:28

Review of taxation for owner-managers?
Do we expect anything in this budget as a consequence to the consultation on taxation of owner/manager companies?

This topic seems to have gone rather quiet and it's rather unclear as to the timescales for when/how this will develop.

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By John Savage
24th Feb 2005 09:49

What's in a name??
Strange comment below?? I agree with Darren's observations. And Campbell's name rearranged??

Couldn't be the man who lost £3,000 on 'Who wants to be a millionaire' recently, by not knowing that it was the USA who launched the SkyLab, could it? Oh dear, what a gaff that was.

Those of us in small businesses who are having to deal with all the nanny regulations poured out by this obtuse present administration, and who are having to pay many of the stealth taxes over the years, the myriad of complex tax laws, deal with the army of bureaucrats, be nanny/social-security administrator to many of our employees, would certainly concur that £4 billion could be saved easily by chopping down the size of the state. And if this is not done quickly, Britain will be sinking beneath the waves, overloaded with bureacrats and misguided politicians!!

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