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Tories want experts to oversee tax plans

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne says a Conservative Government would publish any technical changes to the tax system in the autumn before the Budget.

In a speech to the Policy Exchange last week, Osborne proposed introducing a Parliamentary committee which would scrutinise tax changes with industry experts before they were confirmed in the Budget.

Osborne has enlisted the help of former Chancellor Geoffrey Howe and senior tax specialists to propose long-term tax reforms.

He said: “By the time the legislation reaches the statute book, it will have been thoroughly examined and scrutinised by the people who will have to implement it.”

He said the country needs a “fundamental rethink to prepare our tax system for the 21st Century” and said he would strive to follow Adam Smith’s four principles of good taxation – efficiency, certainty, transparency and fairness.

Osborne vowed to stop stealth taxes and “restore public trust in taxation” by ensuring that any tax increases were equalled by tax reductions in other areas.

He said the Tories would reduce corporation tax by “broadening the base” and removing reliefs and allowances.

Osborne said environmental taxes would rise under the Tories which would fund raising the inheritance tax threshold to 1m and the stamp duty threshold for first-time buyers to 250,000.

He stood by his plans to tax non-domiciled residents an annual flat rate of 25,000.

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