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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 17 March, 1998, 18:51 GMT
Britain to be 'best place to invest'
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, said he wanted to make Britain the best place in the world in which to invest.

From next April, Advance Corporation Tax will be abolished and the levels of Corporation Tax will be fixed.

Mr Brown said his changes would "contribute to making Britain the best place in the industrial world in which to invest".

He said it would make the tax regime fairer and would encourage investment.

He put a ceiling of 30p on the rate of Corporation Tax, and said the small firms' Corporation Tax would be cut to 20p from April 1999 and would remain at that rate for the rest of this Parliament.

First year capital advances for small and medium firms would be set at 40%, and there would be help with small firms setting up payroll systems.

CGT reform

The Chancellor announced a fundamental reform of Capital Gains Tax (CGT), explicitly to reward long-term investment.

Short-term CGT remains at 40p but the long-term rate for personal investment is to be cut from 40p to 24p.

For those who build businesses or stake their own money in them, the long-term rate will be cut even more from 40p to 10p - the lowest rate ever achieved.

Capital Gains Tax was first introduced in 1965 and is payable on the disposal of assets by individuals, personal representatives and trustees.

Mr Brown also said he was setting up a 50 million Venture Capital Fund for universities to invest in products which they themselves had developed. He said it would stop other countries taking the benefit from the ingenuity of British scientific advances.

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