Schedule 29 - Gains and losses of a company from intangible fixed assets

Part of Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 13th June 2002.

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Photo of Mr Howard Flight Mr Howard Flight Conservative, Arundel and South Downs 10:00 am, 13th June 2002

If I did not make it clear up front, I should say that the reforms in the clause are welcome. A lot of work has gone into them. My understanding of the net cost of honouring the existing position is that it is not as great as £50 million. I have been advised that it is more like £20 million.

Is there any prospect of the deal and approach that the Government have taken being unfairly skewed? Without the amendment, a measure that cost £200 million is a big plus to businesses, but some people will obviously have intangibles from before 1 April 2002 and, in running their businesses, will expect the tax rules to be as they were. It is conceivable that sheltering them on disposal by other intangibles, for whatever reason, may not fit their businesses especially well.

Given the extensive consultation, what response to the issue have the Government encountered? Is the general view that there has not been much skewing and that the deal is acceptable, or have some argued that it is unfair to certain types of business to change the regime in midstream? It is important to know that because rough justice is not necessarily the answer to this sort of problem.