Darling talks to business groups about capital gains tax reforms

22 October 2007
Alistair Darling has invited leaders of the UK’s four biggest business groups to the Treasury today in order to hear their views on his changes to the rules surrounding capital gains tax.

Richard Lambert, Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), The IOD’s (Institute Of Director’s) Director General, Miles Templeton and National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), John Wright will meet with the Chancellor in order to vent their anger over the proposed reforms.

Last week, the four groups wrote a joint letter where they protested that many of their members will see an 80 per cent hike in their tax bills if Mr Darling goes ahead with his plans to introduce an 18 per cent single rate in April.

The letter also argued: “The impact of the decision will be felt throughout the economy. The net effect will be to set back the growth of the economy over coming years, by discouraging longer-term investment and risk-taking. Business angels and venture capital funds say they too will be discouraged from taking risk and investing for the long game.”

The four leaders then said, “..we urge you to pause, suspend your decision and enter into urgent and detailed discussion with the key business organisations to resolve this situation.”

Last week, the Chancellor remained unmoved on his decision, telling MPs that the single rate of 18 per cent was “the right thing to do”, but the four groups remain hopeful about the meeting.

“We look forward to a constructive meeting with the Chancellor to discuss his changes to capital gains tax which have caused real concern amongst the business community,” said Mr Lambert, who will lead today’s delegation.

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