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Budget 2011: Even more betting odds

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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?

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