Below is a press release that shows the flip flopping of the Magpie Chancellor, just what can we believe?

Darling’s flip-flop adds to confusion over Capital Gains Tax.

Giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee today, Alistair Darling
performed yet another flip-flop on his changes to Capital Gains Tax by
opening the door to concessions demanded by business. Just a week ago he
vowed to proceed with the reforms as announced.
Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said:
“Every time the Chancellor opens his mouth on Capital Gains Tax he adds to
the confusion. He conceded this morning that he was prepared to look at
changes to the proposals he put forward just two weeks ago. Why didn’t he
think about all of this before his ill-judged Pre Budget Report
“Small businesses wondering whether to sell up before next April are now
left completely in the dark. The sooner the Chancellor admits he’s made a
mess of the whole thing and goes back to the drawing board the better.”
Notes to editors
1) Treasury Select Committee, 25 October 2007
Giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee this morning, Alistair
Darling open the door for a climbdown on changes to the PBR plans that he
vowed to proceed with just one week ago.
Here are the relevant excerpts:
Questioned by Graham Brady MP on CGT:
[talking about businesses who have complained about the change] “Of course
I’m willing to talk to them about how in detail we can improve things”
“I understand that people facing retirement have a particular concern…”
Questioned by Michael Fallon on whether he is ruling out any rethink on
taper relief:
“They’ve raised a number of specific issues. I said of course I’ll work with
them there”
(then continued to refuse to rule it out)
Fallon: “So that’s a no?” (Darling doesn’t answer)
Questioned by Philip Dunne MP on CGT and Digby Jones:
“He [Lord Jones] hasn’t got round to having that private conversation with
me and I’m looking forward to having it”
[Had business leaders been consulted?] “No. Sometimes the Treasury consults
and sometimes it doesn’t.”
2) Only three days ago the Treasury was briefing that there would be no CGT
“An HM Treasury source insisted: “The Chancellor listened to their points
and explained the thinking behind the Government’s announcement – and that
the policy was a firm announcement.”
(Darling won’t budge on tax – The Sun, 23 October 2007)
3) And at Treasury Questions one week ago, 18 October 2007, Darling vowed to
proceed with his changes:
“I think that simplifying the tax system is necessary and a single rate of
capital gains tax is the right thing to do. Although I accept that some
people are not entirely happy about it, others have welcomed the proposal,
and therefore I intend to proceed with the changes that we are making.”

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