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A live blog of the Treasury Select Committee's evidence session on Budget Autumn 2017, which took place from 10.00am to 11.40am on Tuesday 5 December.

Ray McCann, Deputy President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) gave oral evidence to the committee along with Andrew Courts of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Frank Haskew of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

John Mann MP (Labour) oversaw proceedings in the absence of the chair, Nicky Morgan MP.

MPs on the Finance (No.3) Bill public bill committee have resumed consideration of the Finance Bill at 2.00pm on Thursday 6 December, starting with consideration of clause 60 (Air Passenger Duty).

You can read the amendments tabled for debate here. You can listen to the debate here.

MPs have debated clause 21 on permanent establishments: preparatory or auxiliary activities; clause 24 on Group relief etc: meaning of “UK related” company; clause 25 on intangible fixed assets: exceptions to degrouping charges etc; clause 26 and schedule 9: Corporation tax relief for carried forward losses; clause 27 and schedule 10: Corporate interest restriction; clause 28 and schedule 11: Debtor relationships of company where money lent to connected companies; clause 30: Special rate expenditure on plant and machinery; and Clause 31: Temporary increase in annual investment allowance.

MPs spent four days this week debating the Budget and related policy issues, before voting on the Budget resolutions on Thursday (1) evening. 

The Lords waited until Thursday (15) before debating the Chancellor’s Spring Statement. Some of the speakers reflected on Chancellor Hammond’s stating that ‘There is light at the end of the tunnel’ for the UK’s public finances.

At a conference where the Government’s tax policies for the Parliament were virtually invisible economic debate focused on the general case for low taxes and free markets – contrasted with Labour’s agenda – and, of course, Brexit.

There were few new policy announcements at the Labour party conference, instead the emphasis was on reiterating the positions they took in their manifesto for the General Election 2017.

 

In his lecture at the RSA, former Tax Director of the OTS John Whiting CBE told an audience that although tax simplification comes at a price, the dividend for taxpayers and HMRC in the long run makes it well worth pursuing. Whiting had held the role at OTS since it was established in 2010 until stepping down in March and is currently a non-executive director of HMRC and Revenue Scotland. He was introduced to the audience by CIOT President John Preston, and Helen Miller of the IFS chaired this latest joint CIOT/IFS event.

The committee stage and third reading of the Finance Bill were held on a single day because of time restrictions owing to the General Election being called for June 8. 

The concept of earmarking sources of taxation for particular items of expenditure (hypothecation) finds common appeal both from people who want to see an increase in spending on a particular thing and those who want to cut the amount of tax the public pay.