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‘Revenue said Brown’s IHT shock was crazy’

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne claims the Revenue strongly criticised Gordon Brown’s “crazy changes” to IHT trusts before the Budget, warning it would bring in little but would cost hundreds of millions of pounds.

Osborne was speaking in London this week at the first of a series of meetings with City groups to set out the Tory case as a serious alternative Government.

He said he had been told by senior sources that the Revenue had “strongly criticised and advised against these crazy changes” before the Budget as they would bring the Government as little as 15m but cost up to 250m.

Osborne said: “It is hugely damaging to millions of people. It is only ideological spite that is stopping them backing down. That is what happens when you get a socialist as Chancellor.”

On Turner and the NPSS, Osborne said he would have to wait for next week’s White Paper but voiced doubts about the creation of a big central Government agency.

He said he leans towards an industry-run scheme and supports Turner’s auto-enrolment plan. He said that the most important change was that Blair and Turner prevailed over Brown in the argument against means-testing the state pension.

Osborne pledged that the Tories would simplify taxation to help all businesses, including small financial services companies.

He said: “I am determined to open up a new argument with Gordon Brown on the complexity of taxation. This constant use of tax as a social policy is starting to have a negative impact on big business and on small financial companies.”


MPs ponder Which? proposals for equity release

The Treasury select committee will decide in the next few weeks whether the Which? plan for a Government-led equity-release scheme is a viable proposition. The consumer body has submitted preliminary proposals to the committee although it has still to determine details such as rates. It wants the Government to help finance and take the lead […]

Cazalet claims that life firms are recycling cash

The FSA must wake up to the fact that current industry reporting requirements are not based in reality, according to independent consultant Ned Cazalet. Cazalet warned the IEA annual conference last week that product providers are not disclosing real profits as their new business numbers in life and pensions are based on money being recycled […]

CML reports record lending figures for April

Gross mortgage lending stood at 25.1bn last month, the highest April lending figure on record, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.Lending was 16 per cent higher than in April 2005 and marks six months of record lending figures. But it was 12 per cent lower than the 28.4bn in March, which the CML puts […]

Up to 2bn in pension credits still unclaimed

Between 1.46bn and 2.07bn of pension credits are going unclaimed by more than one million pensioners, according to figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions. It says that between 1.14 million and 1.63 million pensioners are not claiming the credit, with 2.57million people claiming it at a total cost of 5.46bn. The DWP […]


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