This report focuses on the Finance Bill's measures on the taxation of foreign profits, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and pensions. In addition, as last year, the Committee considers two issues which cut across these and other topics: the effectiveness of the process of consultation and the likely impact of the proposed measures on the international competitiveness of the United Kingdom. Consultation on foreign profits had been well conducted but the Committee recognises it would have been difficult for the Government to consult on pensions. The likely impact on the UK's competitiveness of the Bill's provision overall is not clear. On the taxation of pensions, the Committee regrets that significant changes were introduced so soon after the redesign of the whole system. There seems little official recognition that this precedent has undermined simplicity, consistency and certainty or that it risks a reduction in pensions savings. The reforms to the taxation of foreign profits represented a move towards a more territorial system of taxing foreign subsidiaries. But the Committee cannot properly assess the measures as they are still being developed. REITs were introduced after careful planning and amidst high hopes. But they have not lived up to expectations, since there are no residential REITs, nor any new ones not converted from property companies. It is difficult to conclude that this is wholly due to economic circumstances and not also to structural defects. The measures in the Bill do not go far enough and officials should take a more flexible and responsive approach.It is difficult to conclude that this is wholly due to economic circumstances and not also to structural defects. The measures in the Bill do not go far enough and officials should take a more flexible and responsive approach.
|Title||:||The Finance Bill 2009|
|Author||:||Great Britain: Parliament: House of Lords: Select Committee on Economic Affairs|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2009-06-23|