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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 January 2008, 16:54 GMT
Reaction to capital gains tax reforms
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The government has offered a lower rate to help entrepreneurs
The government has announced a revision to capital gains tax (CGT) that sets a single 18% rate and ends taper relief from April.

But Chancellor Alistair Darling also said there would be the lower rate of 10% on gains of up to 1m, to help entrepreneurs.

The decision to offer the lower rate comes after strong pressure from industry groups and small firms, which had feared the flat-rate would deter entrepreneurs from starting companies.

Business groups and tax experts give their views on the government's latest CGT plans.

RICHARD LAMBERT, DIRECTOR GENERAL, CBI

This is superficially quite clever and on the surface might seem like a relief after three months of uncertainty, but even the smallest business owner will lose taper relief and indexation and be worse off than before October.

The reality is that these revised measures will do nothing to help the real business powerhouses of this country.

Today's changes still discriminate against the long-term holding of assets, in favour of short termism.

TONY COHEN, HEAD OF ENTREPRENEURIAL BUSINESS, DELOITTE

The chancellor's announcement shows a turnaround by government, no doubt bowing to pressure from business leaders, and eroding by some 20% his planned tax take from the changes proposed in October.

Whilst small business will be grateful for this, there are strings attached - a 5% holding in the company will be needed, and the allowance is allowed once in a lifetime, so may not in practice benefit serial entrepreneurs.

DAVID FROST, DIRECTOR GENERAL, BRITISH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

What cannot be ignored is that the ultimate impact of these changes is going to be a 700m tax take from business.

It is also clear that this has done nothing to simplify the taxation system, the original state aims of the changes.

The relationship between government and business has been damaged by this affair and will take time and effort to rebuild.

KEVIN NICHOLSON, HEAD OF ENTREPRENEURS AND PRIVATE COMPANIES, PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS

Frequently tweaking the UK tax system - as has been evident with the CGT system - only adds to complexity.

If the government is committed to simplifying the UK tax system, it must work with business to implement a long-term strategic tax policy framework.

JONATHAN KESTENBAUM, NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND THE ARTS (NESTA)

Government has shown a commitment to business by changing its plans for CGT but it must further incentivise the kinds of investors who can bridge the gap in very early-stage finance.

JOHN DEAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, BRITISH SHOPS AND STORES ASSOCIATION

The outcome is probably the best we could have expected in the light of government determination not to budge from their stance of a single 18% rate.

It achieves the government objective of limiting the profits of private equity bosses but at the same time is increasing the tax take in excess of 600m, money which will no longer be invested in the establishment of new businesses.

In the long run UK plc will be the loser.

MARTIN TEMPLE, CHAIRMAN, ENGINEERING EMPLOYERS' FEDERATION

Today's announcement is a helpful concession. However, the fact remains that we should not be in this position in the first place. This was a fundamentally bad decision that will mean, despite today's patch up, business still being used to fill a hole in the government's finances.

At a time when the UK's tax position is heading in the wrong direction, today's announcement sends mixed messages about how favourable the UK tax regime is for investment.

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