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Tim - this is why I said attacks on Gordon Brown's character were justified. I remember you were worried about Chris Grayling calling him a liar.

Well after today we know he is a lair and the thief. but more it shows Gordon Brown will stop at nothing to stay in number 10.

He will copy any -*any*- policy we have that is popular and use the government as a round the year campaigning machine.

The wrong man indeed ! We must be focused on removing him from office.

I wonder how long it will be before Labour party members come to the same conclusion ?

Fraser Nelson is spot on. The Conservatives have missed a completely open goal. Rather than pointing out the inherent duplicity in Labour's position (ie that Darling has not increased the amount couples can pass on free of tax by a single penny) Osborne chose to enirely erroneously to claim that Labour had stolen his clothes. What a massive waste of an opportunity to expose the deceit at the heart of this government.

The removal of taper relief will hit many people hard. An accountant friend of mine says this "On the face of it this is a massive and open (ie not stealth for once) tax hike on vast numbers of small business and private people. To wipe out accrued indexation and taper relief on 6 April is monstrous - amounts to retrospective taxation."

Possibility one: there has been no substantial difference in the IHT since this announcement, as it doesn't change the options for most people - in which case this is all spin. Possibility two: there has been a substantial difference in the IHT since this announcement - in which case, they followed us, having had no intention of doing this before we did. Under the former, they are spinning. Under the latter, they are bereft of ideas and following our lead. To repeat the best known lines of once fairly well known song, GORDON IS A MORON.

Throughly agree with RH and Fraser Nelson. Nil rate discretionary trusts were probably the best known and most widely used tax loophole in the country.

In terms of taxable estate on death it makes not one iota of difference. Osborne by his wrongly aimed criticism has actually given Labour credability on this.

As said above this will not cost Brown £1.4bn - I am sure that figure could be ripped apart with some research.

As for Darling letting this allowance be used retrospectively, this already occured - In tax inefficient wills: providing all beneficiaries agree a will can be altered (and so made more tax efficient ie use a nil rate discretionary trust). So absolutely no difference in substance whatsever.

Accountant - exactly and when they suddenly discover that there are more than a handful of non-doms they will then have more money and will claim prudence in 18 months time when they slash borrowing needs. It is so obvious you can see it coming a mile off. Cynical? You bet!

Accountant: I agree. Since the exercise is a complete spoof, I can't see it actually costing £1 billion. What I can't work out is why they're overcounting the cost.

The Annex to the Pre Budget Report makes it clear that Darling's "simplified", "competitive", "internationally low" 18% CGT rate is actually a revenue-raising measure by about £350 million - but then that seems low. The 2007 Tax Ready Reckoner isn't out yet (surprise me) but the 2006 version estimated the cost of taper relief to be £4.7 billion so there's clearly a hell of a lot of money sloshing around here.

Is it simply that they're taking a "prudent" approach so that next March in the full Budget they can declare better than expected revenues and knock something off income tax? Or, as James Burdett suggests, better-than-expected borrowing figures (we've made a lot of running about worse borrowing outcomes; I wouldn't put it past them to set us up for a fall next year).

"To wipe out accrued indexation and taper relief on 6 April is monstrous"

Wow - I hadn't got it that accrued indexation is wiped out too. The taper relief wipe-out is compensated for by the 18% rate for normal portfolio investment. But ending accrued indexation is effectively a large cut in the CGT tax free band for longer term investors. It is too arcane a point to get much political traction, but it is somewhat outrageous; I know some trusts which have indexation back to the 1980s until 1998. No wonder the CGT changes will be revenue raising.

On the other hand, it is a massive simplification. That should free up the Accountants from doing CGT computations so they can wholeheartedly concentrate on the old fashioned business, now to be revived, of turning income into capital gains.

"I can't see it actually costing £1 billion. What I can't work out is why they're overcounting the cost." - William Norton.

Possibly because if you say "we are cutting taxes and by the way its not going to cost the government a penny in lost revenue", most people would realise you are either lying or its not a tax cut?

Londoner: welcome to the wacky world of tax "simplification". From April when you sell any investments you'll be paying tax on inflation.

Perhaps now a little late but I have just read the hmrc supplementary on the CGT proposals. Very very bad for individuals with investment assets indeed. As William Norton said we are now paying tax on inflation. I couldn't believe he would wipe out indexation and taper relief prior to April 2008 but he has.
Someone holding an asset from 5th April 1982 has absolutely no allowance for inflation whatsoever. People selling businesses on retirement are going to be particularly stuffed and anyone who has held an asset for more than a few years is going to be worse off.

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