Press release

Government publishes draft legislation to implement tax changes

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Government has today published draft clauses for Finance Bill 2011.

The Government has today published draft clauses for Finance Bill 2011. This is the first time the Government has published the majority of draft clauses for consultation and marks the first step towards the Government’s commitment to improving tax policy making.

The Government is also publishing a response to the consultation Tax policy making: a new approach, setting out changes to the way in which tax policy will be developed and communicated. As part of this, the Government has announced that Finance Bill 2011 will be published on 31 March 2011.

Draft clauses for the 2011 Finance Bill

As part of improving the way in which tax policy is made, the Government has, for the first time, published the majority of measures for the Finance Bill in draft.

The Government’s intention is to keep the number of new additional measures that will subsequently need to be included in this Bill to a minimum. The draft clauses published today point to a significantly shorter Finance Bill than has been seen over the past decade.

In line with the Government’s commitment to greater transparency, notes accompanying the draft legislation explain why each change is being made, who will be affected and the likely impacts of each measure.

Alongside draft clauses, associated documents published today include:

  • a response to the consultation on Furnished Holiday Lettings;
  • a response to the consultation on pensions annuitisation;
  • a response to the consultation on taxation of gaming machines;
  • a response to the consultation on the simplification of corporate capital gains;
  • a response to the consultation on Modernisation of Investment Trust Companies;
  • two consultations relating to HMRC’s powers review; and
  • details on the levy on bank’s balance sheets to be introduced on 1 January 2011.

Tax Policy Making: A New Approach

Following the consultation Tax Policy making: a new approach, the Government has today announced improvements in the way in which tax policy is developed and legislated. The publication of draft Finance Bill clauses will become a permanent feature of the tax policy cycle. Taken together with other improvements, these reforms will reduce the volume and frequency of changes to the tax system, providing greater predictability and transparency.

David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury:

Today’s draft finance bill marks a substantial improvement in the way we create tax policy. Not only is this draft finance bill the shortest in recent years, it is also the most transparent. By giving people and businesses time to adjust to these tax changes, as well as inviting them to comment on the changes, we are making tax policy significantly more accountable.

Notes for Editors

  1. Written ministerial Statement on draft clauses for the Finance Bill http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/xst_wms_taxpolicymaking_091210.pdf

  2. Link to associated documents published today :

  3. Facts on draft clauses for the 2011 Finance Bill:

    • Publishing this volume of legislation for consultation at this stage in the Budget cycle is unprecedented.
    • 39 measures/49 clauses have been published.  This is approximately 255 pages of legislation. At this stage, the Finance Bill is 178 pages shorter than last year’s Bill, and with 70 fewer clauses.
    • On average, between 2000 and 2009, the previous government added an additional 460 pages in each Finance Bill.  The largest Bill was in 2004 at 620 pages.
  4. The Budget will be published on 23 March 2011, and the Finance Bill will be published on 31 March 2011.

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