Hammond let off over 'Dostoevsky-esque' Finance Bill

Philip Hammond has been let off being chancellor at a time when his government has published a Finance Bill that runs for more pages than a novel by Russian heavyweight author Dostoevsky.

Speaking on Friday, the day of the bill’s publication, the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) said the blame for the second longest Finance Act of all time actually lay with Mr Hammond’s predecessor, George Osborne.

“In defence of the current chancellor, most of the measures…originated before his time at the Treasury,” began the institute, referring to the 674-page act which contains measures the government dropped in April.

“They result from the [previous chancellor’s] 2016 Budget, which contained 50 new tax measures. By contrast, the 2017 Budget was the slimmest in a long time, with just 14 new tax measures.

“We hope that that will be the pattern going forward and today’s Bill will be the last bow of the Finance Bill longer than a Dostoevsky novel.”

Expected to be enacted by parliament before the Christmas 2017 recess, the bill contains a key clause for self-employed people, because it paves the way for ‘MTD.’

In explanatory notes to the bill, the government says: “This clause enables the government to make business taxes digital for income tax purposes, as announced at Autumn Statement 2015, from a future date still to be decided.”

Editor's Note:  NATO Summit Wales 2014   image by  Foreign and Commonwealth Office .


12th September 2017

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