Feeds

Brown hits contractors in pre-Budget speech

And pirates, and call centre staff

New hybrid storage solutions

Gordon Brown has delivered his pre-Budget speech warning of a clampdown on copyright fraud and tax avoidance by managed service, or composite, companies. Managed service companies are used by some contractors as way to reduce tax and National Insurance contributions.

Brown also said he could release £400m by cutting 25 per cent off the cost of government call centres.

Former director general of the CBI Sir Digby Jones is being made Training Czar. He will "advance an agenda" of getting employers to train staff and getting the government to provide more investment in work, college and online training.

Brown said: "I am also addressing avoidance and the rules governing managed service companies."

David Ramsden, chairman of the Professional Contractors Group said: "It is crucial that the scope of this measure is defined to include managed service companies but not freelancers and contractors who are genuinely in business. We would of course not welcome an additional tax burden on the latter group. Our preliminary reading of these proposals suggests that they are sound in this respect."

Brown said: "Twenty five years ago the market value of our top companies was no more than the value of just their physical assets. Today the market value of Britain's top companies is five times their physical assets, demonstrating the economic power of knowledge, ideas and innovation."

Well that or it demonstrates an over-heated stock market.

On the environment Brown said the government was already working with City institutions to make London the leading centre for carbon trading. Norway and the UK will work together to trial carbon capture and storage under the North Sea. To help cut emissions the "vast majority" of zero carbon new houses will be exempt from stamp duty.

From 1 February air passenger duty will double from £5 to £10 on most flights. Next generation biodiesel gets a 20p per litre discount. Brown will consult ahead of next year's Budget on extedning current 40p per litre tax discounts for biogas. From midnight tonight fuel duty goes up by 1.25p.

An extra £84m will be made available for intelligence and counter terrorism. The budget for security, £1bn in 2001, will be over £2bn for 2008.®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.