Until last year the Labour government had one blunt instrument with which to defend its entrepreneurial credentials: taper relief. Sceptics such as me might choke into our rubber chicken each time we heard the phrase "enterprise" (2,139 mentions in Gordon Brown’s official speeches as chancellor), but Messrs Brown and Darling could always fall back on the ten per cent CGT rate that enabled entrepreneurs and shareholders to build up private businesses, stick with their investment for five years, and then flog ’em to fund their retirement/mortgage repayment/villa in France, whatever. From personal experience, I know that the incentive has persuaded many private investors, and indeed employee-shareholders, to stick with small ventures through thick and thin. Well, now that claim is well and truly holed beneath the water. In place of taper relief, as we’ve pointed out in the past few days, is not only a more complex system, but one which actually harms employee-shareholders and creates a two-tier enterprise economy. We’ve posted many stories on this in the past few months. So here instead is an excellent commentary by Tim Worstall on The Register.
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