Government changes to capital gains tax revision met with caution

25 January 2008 by
Government changes to capital gains tax revision met with caution

The Government's climbdown over its controversial capital gains tax changes has received a hesitant welcome from business leaders.

Chancellor Alastair Darling yesterday told the Commons that there would be a new capital gains tax "entrepreneurial relief" providing a special 10% tax rate for up to £1m of gains.

The concession came after plans to announce a single rate of 18%, announced in last October and due to come into force in April, came in for widespread criticism from business leaders.

At the time, Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said that the increase would have been an "absolute body blow" to the hospitality industry, while David Clarke, chief executive of the Best Western hotels consortium, said his 290 members were "taken aback" by the plans.

But, speaking after Darling's announcement, Clarke said: "We are delighted that the Chancellor has listened to the industry and made an allowance for the independent hotelier.

"However, as the reduced rate of 10% is only for properties under £1m, we will be looking into this further to see exactly what the implications are and how the news will affect our members."

John Wright, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said its members would be relieved at the changes but that the Government will have to work hard to regain their trust.

"We welcome these plans, but the way in which the whole issue has been handled has seriously eroded small businesses' trust in the Government," he said.

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By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.

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