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Chancellor challenged over change

Moving Budget ‘lacks consideration’ for Scotland

Bruce Crawford

Bruce Crawford: timing (photo by Terry Murden)

Call for more time

Philip Hammond’s decision to move the Budget to November will leave the Scottish parliament little time to prepare its own financial statement for the year, it was claimed today.

The chancellor announced in the autumn statement that there will be one annual Budget statement, making next week’s Budget the last to be held in the Spring.

Bruce Crawford, convener of the finance and constitution committee in the Scottish parliament, told a gathering of tax experts that the Chancellor had given “no consideration” to the devolved administrations.

Mr Crawford, who was addressing the Chartered Institute of Taxation and Association of Taxation Technicans lunch at the Signet Library in Edinburgh, said little time was being allowed for the Scottish parliament to scrutinise the implications of UK budget statements on Scotland’s financial affairs.

Holyrood had to take into account the Barnett Formula and how changes announced by the Treasury impacted Scotland.

Mr Crawford is said to prefer that the UK Budget was held in September rather than November.

However, tax sources say that a September Budget would not be possible as the Office for Budget Responsibility needs at least two full quarters of the financial year to assess the performance of the economy.

Ralph Pettengell

Ralph Pettengell: need for delay (photo by Terry Murden)

Ralph Pettengell, fellow of the ATT, repeated calls for the government to delay the introduction of its Making Tax Digital programme which is due to be introduced in April next year.

He warned that it could “go badly wrong” because businesses are not prepared for the change, which will require even lifestyle businesses to produce returns every quarter.

He also said the tax profession had to get its self-regulation in order to avoid the prospect of legisalation.

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