TWO Huntingdon accountancy firms have delivered summaries of the Chancellor s recent pre-budget report. Simon Laskey, director of Haines Watts, lists the key tax measures as: a one per cent increase in the NIC rates payable by employers, employees and the

TWO Huntingdon accountancy firms have delivered summaries of the Chancellor's recent pre-budget report.

Simon Laskey, director of Haines Watts, lists the key tax measures as: a one per cent increase in the NIC rates payable by employers, employees and the self-employed from April 2011; freezing the personal allowances and tax bands at the 2009/10 amounts for most taxpayers; the introduction of a 50 per cent additional rate of tax for those with the highest income levels; changes to the complex rules for the Special Annual Allowance charge which affect those with substantial income, making significantly higher pension contributions in anticipation of the removal of higher rate tax relief, which will occur in 2011; the deferral for a further year of the planned increase in the small companies corporation tax rate, maintaining the current rate of 21 per cent for a further year; the return of the standard rate of VAT to its former rate of 17.5 per cent on 1 January 2010; and a temporary bank payroll tax of 50 per cent to apply to certain bonuses;

Details are at www.hwca.com/publications/pre-budget-report-2009.pdf.

At the other end of the High Street, Barry Jefferd, tax partner at George Hay, said the measures failed to tackle the mountain of public debt.

"The statement doesn't do a great deal to fill the gap in the Government's finances or reassure international investors that the Government has a plan to bring it down. Whoever wins the next election, further tax rises are inevitable," he predicted..

"It is a relief that VAT has not gone up any further than the widely-predicted return to 17.5 per cent, and nor has Capital Gains Tax been increased, as some thought it might. Unfortunately the additional rise in National Insurance from 2011 will put an additional burden on businesses at a time when many will be trying to recover from the recession.

"One potential boost is the announcement of a £500million Growth Capital Fund for smaller businesses but, like almost everything else in the PBR, we have to wait until the New Year to see the detail.