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The Finance Bill published in the wake of the Spring Budget has been passed into law somewhat sooner and shorter than expected. The PM’s surprise announcement of a ‘snap’ General Election last month brought sudden and unexpected changes, and the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has warned it is unlikely to suit good tax policymaking. The CIOT estimates that a Finance Bill usually enjoys two days’ debate in the Commons and up to 20 standing committee sessions, followed by a further two days’ consideration at report stage and third reading. This was simply not going to happen, given Parliament’s limited attention in light of the general election.
The government has now deleted 72 out of 135 clauses, and 18 out of 29 schedules – leaving just 140 pages out of the original 762 ahead of the General Election.