Media and politics

The Conservative Party have published their general election manifesto, promising not to raise the rates of income tax, National Insurance or VAT in the next Parliament.

The Labour Party has published its ‘Fair Tax Programme’, promising to raise more than £6 billion a year with measures including an Offshore Property Company Levy, scrapping non-dom status and trebling the number of audits carried out by HMRC.

The Conservatives have not yet published their election manifesto. There are rumours it will be published on Sunday. But the party has revealed a number of elements of its tax plans this week.

The Labour Party have published their general election manifesto, which includes plans for higher corporation tax, income tax increases for those earning more than £80,000 and taxing capital gains and dividends at income tax rates with a single allowance.

The Liberal Democrats have set out plans for significant reforms to business taxation and to tax capital gains and income through a single allowance. Business rates would be replaced with a new Commercial Landowner Levy and business taxation would be ‘simplified’ to lower administration costs.

A Green Party government would merge income tax, employees’ national insurance, taxation of dividends, capital gains tax and inheritance tax into a single Consolidated Income Tax. According to the party’s manifesto, published today (19), this would raise an extra £20 billion a year of revenue. The Greens also propose replacing the income tax personal allowance with a Universal Basic Income.

The first full week of election campaigning since Parliament was dissolved has seen Labour back a new tax on multinationals and the Conservatives propose cuts to business rates for small firms. Ahead of the manifestos – most of which are expected next week – here is our round up of tax and related developments so far.

Sometimes we all mistake one thing for another. Maybe we see a ball lying in the road, but when we get closer we see that it’s actually an orange. But written words tend to have specific meanings, so unless it’s a word we don’t know, or the sentence structure is very complex, we can work out what is meant. Or can we?

Cross-border Trade and Accounting was the topic of an adjournment debate on 30 October. Conservative Luke Graham, who was an accountant for Tesco and Marks and Spencer before becoming an MP, secured the debate and spoke about the development of accounting systems, Making Tax Digital and HMRC’s support for small and medium-sized businesses. He said he believed accountants can help with big social and environmental challenges and that it ‘may well be accountants who have the key to global Britain’.

The debate on the Queen’s Speech concluded on Thursday 24 October with speeches focused on the economy. As is typical with Queen’s Speech debates most contributions were broad-brush with plenty of political knock-about on show. This summary picks out the tax-related contributions in particular.