Report: Darling listens to capital gains tax critics

UK Chancellor Alistair Darling has conceded his planned capital gains tax increase is 'controversial' and said he plans to publish final proposals in three weeks’ time.

Alistair Darling, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, has indicated he may change his plans to introduce a flat rate of capital gains tax at 18 percent, according to UK newspaper The Times.

Alistair Darling

The Chancellor told a meeting of industry body the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which has attacked the proposed change, that he is “listening” to what it says.

Darling made the decision to remove the 10 percent “taper relief” on capital gains tax during his pre-budget report last month. He opted to replace the relief with a flat rate of 18 percent.

The Chancellor said a flat tax was “right and fair” and was driven by the need for a simplified tax system. He admitted the reforms “have been controversial”.

“We are working with the CBI and other business organisations to listen to what you have to say. I expect to publish final proposals in the next three weeks,” he said.
“There are many areas where the government does consult, but it doesn’t always consult when it changes tax rates.” 

Other critics of the reforms include industry body the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, private equity grandee Sir Ronald Cohen and British billionaire Sir Richard Branson.