As we get closer to George Osborne’s Budget Speech – only four days to go! – odds that he’ll announce pro-enterprise measures are shortening. Here’s the latest league table of entrepreneurial odds.
It’s looking increasingly like Osborne won’t make announce any major surprises on Wednesday. It’s likely we’ll get a run-through of the measures that we already know about the draft Finance Bill and an update on consultations and other work-in-progress.
As racegoers prepare themselves for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers have offered odds on the runners and riders in the forthcoming Budget:
|Capital gains tax||Will we see the removal of the five per cent shareholding condition for Enterprise Investment Scheme relief||12-1|
|Corporation tax||Further reduction to the UK tax rate and more on the promised corporation tax reform measures.||1-3 (fav)|
|Fuel duty||Temporary suspension of fuel duty escalator.||2-1|
|Reversal of VAT increase on fuel imposed on January 1.||50-1|
|Green taxes||Will we hear news of a new carbon tax (climate change levy) to be paid by electricity generators on the fuel they buy?||Evens|
|Inheritance tax||Will there be a wholesale review of inheritance tax?||25-1|
|National insurance contributions (NICs)||Will we see a harmonisation of NICs and income tax?||100-1|
|May we see a consultation on the harmonisation of NICs and income tax announced||10-1|
|Stamp duty||Clarification of sub-sale rules. Confirmation that residential rate goes up to five per cent on April 6, 2011.||2-1|
|VAT||There is little scope to change the 20 per cent rate, but might we see some zero- or lower-rated items move into the higher rate||50-1|
|Income tax||Will we see an announcement on the direction of travel on the 50 per cent tax rate||5-1|
PwC tax partner Barry Murphy says: “The government has set an agenda of consultations and advance warning of changes to this is really a Budget for odds-on favourites rather than rank outsiders. However, every Cheltenham festival throws up a welcome surprise, and the Chancellor may not be able to resist generating some good headlines.”
So, what do you think of these odds?