Press release: Streamlined spring statement welcomed by tax professionals

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) in Scotland has welcomed the Chancellor sticking to his plan and delivering a streamlined spring statement.

The Institute said that this was particularly valuable for Scottish taxpayers and tax professionals already preparing for the introduction of significant changes to the Scottish tax system.

Philip Hammond’s decision to limit the introduction of new tax policy measures to a single fiscal event – the autumn Budget – had previously been welcomed by the CIOT as a means of providing respite from the treadmill of constant UK tax policy changes.

The need to act less fitfully but more consultatively and effectively was central to the ‘Better Budgets’ report published in January 2017 by the CIOT, the Institute for Government and the Institute for Fiscal Studies1.

As the Scottish Parliament adapts to its new tax-raising powers, the Institute said that the UK government’s launch of a number of early stage consultations were as welcome and important as the Scottish Government’s own consultative approach to shaping the country’s devolved taxes.

The CIOT urged Holyrood to keep these processes under review as the new tax powers take effect from next month, citing earlier calls for the introduction of an annual Scottish Finance Bill as a means of strengthening effective scrutiny of Scottish tax proposals and joining up the political and technical debates about tax in Scotland2.

Moira Kelly, chair of the CIOT Scottish Technical Committee, said:

“Scottish taxpayers and their advisers will be breathing a sigh of relief today thanks to the Chancellor’s decision to stick to his plan to deliver a streamlined Spring Statement light on new tax policy announcements.

“We are already in the midst of a period of significant change in the Scottish tax system. With a little over 3 weeks to go until the start of the new tax year, the last thing that we would have wanted to see would have been a proliferation of new tax measures.

“The commitment to engage and consult on future changes to the tax system is to be welcomed.  Consulting on, implementing and reviewing tax legislation – both UK and Scottish – must be an important part of the overall process, especially now that the devolution of tax powers has resulted in practical tax changes”.

Notes for editors

  1. Better Budgets was published by the CIOT, Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute for Government in January 2017. Click here for further information or to read the report.
  2. In May 2017, the CIOT recommended the introduction of an annual Scottish Finance Bill as a means to improving the scrutiny of devolved tax legislation. It reiterated this call in February 2018.  See New income tax regime requires rethink of Holyrood’s fiscal oversight (CIOT press release, 20 February 2018).
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