Below is a press release about the Magpie Chancellor.  Mr. Brown talks about David Cameron misleading the House, but what about his Government misleading the people.

Darling’s flip-flop adds to confusion over CGT

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.”

Any comments to