Chancellor refuses to back down on Capital Gains Tax changes

Chancellor Alistair Darling has rebuffed industry demands to reverse changes in capital gains tax announced two weeks ago in his Pre-Budget Report.

Darling met representatives of the CBI, Institute of Directors, Federation of Small Businesses and British Chambers of Commerce on Monday, who lobbied against the Treasury’s scrapping of the 10% rate of capital gains tax.

But afterwards the groups conceded they had made no progress. CBI director-general Richard Lambert said: “We all said how very angry our members were.” But the chancellor “gave no indication he was willing to shift”.

Retiring travel agents or small tour operators who sell their businesses will pay a higher rate of tax on a sale from next April – up from 10% to 18%. That has led accountants to predict a rash of sales before the deadline – and fears that selling prices will fall as a result.

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