Thursday, July 9, 2009

Finance Bill 2010 - Don't hold your breath

Yesterday I suggested that the Government might be agreeable to including some surprising legislation therein.

Here's what I guess will happen - assuming that the General Election takes place next Spring.

The Chancellor will get to present a Pre-Budget Report (PBR) this Autumn and then a Budget next March. All sorts of populist promises will be made in a last ditch effort to maximise support for local Labour MPs - and thus for a Labour majority.

The Government may even go so far as to allow Parliamentary draughtsman to draft the necessary clauses for Finance Bill 2010. But the Election will intervene and most of the clauses will be dropped - so as to get a bare bones Finance Act passed before Parliament rises.

If there is another Labour majority (does anyone really think that's possible?) the more contentious elements of the Bill will be forgotten. If there is a Conservative majority then Labour will only half heartedly encourage them to include the contentious clauses in the first Conservative Budget (and then Finance Bill and Act).

I won't be holding my breath in the hope of seeing new legislation that brings the tax status of MPs expenses in line with those for everyone else.

What do you think will happen?

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