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This interview with Philip Booth was conducted by Reuters for their Great Debate blog.
Chancellors of the Exchequer often seem to regard it almost as a test of their virility to produce long lists of changes to the tax rules. When the annual Finance Bill for the first time was too long to be produced in a single volume, it was clear that we were in real trouble.Nigel Lawson had the right idea with his virtuous circle: lower the tax rates, to enable the special allowances and deductions to be reduced.My preferred ’solution’ is to require members of the Cabinet to fill in their own income tax returns, with access to books but not to oral professional advice. In their cases, the penalties for any mistakes would be severe.
I also think that the Chancellor of the Exchequer should have to read out the Finance Act separately to the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and to the Queen before she signs it.
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