TREASURY OFFICIALS are engaged in urgent talks with tax experts ahead of tomorrow's Budget to tighten new regulations aimed at ending tax avoidance schemes used by up to 250,000 contract employees, says the Daily Telegraph.
The Treasury is concerned advisers are trying to find a way around the rules and will “thwart attempts to plug the loophole and raise an extra £1bn for the exchequer”.
Business advisers are said to have already moved quickly to recommend contract workers switch from using the managed service companies targeted by the Treasury to setting up a personal service company to protect their tax cushion through director status but Companies House has been unable to cope with the number of requests for new company status as a result.
AMICUS IS said to have recruited over 1,000 Standard Life staff on the back of the row about proposed changes to the life insurer’s pensions scheme, according to the Scotsman.
Around 500 staff attended open meetings organised by Amicus at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh yesterday to discuss with union officials proposals to change the terms of the pension scheme from one based on their salary at retirement to one based on their average salary.
However, Standard Life has always stressed it will only deal with staff associations and not unions.
THE TREASURY has ruled out any major tax changes to the treatment of private equity, says the Guardian.
Ed Balls, economic secretary to the Treasury, conceded to MPs in a debate in the Commons last night private equity takeovers had in some cases led to a loss of jobs in the first year but argued in many cases "private equity improved long term prospects for firms and created new jobs and investment".
Balls said the Treasury does not believe any tax advantages for private equity firms were loopholes and vowed not to introduce tax changes which would treat private equity any differently from any other business.
After ruling out any review of the market, he did express concern, however, about the lack of transparency in the industry, which has been criticised by trade unions about the loss of jobs and wages and conditions.
AND THE TABLES could be turned on Barclays thanks to its bid for Abn Amro as any takeover bid could also make Barclays a takeover risk, continues the Guardian.
The paper suggests any attempt to capitalise on the underperformance of the Dutch bank could “open the door to any bidder that might have the clout to buy Barclays”.
A quote from one analyst suggests the deal could be in part be Barclays’ attempt at a “put up or shut up” to anyone interested in the bank, such as, for example, Bank of America.
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