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UK Budget 2004 18 March 2004

Treasury Minister Allan Bell MHK commented today on the UK Chancellor's Budget, stating:

"Whilst we always look carefully at the small print of the Budget, my initial reaction is that it is unlikely to have a major impact on the Island's tax receipts, or on our ability to deliver our tax strategy.

"In relation to Customs and Excise Duties the UK Budget introduced a few changes affecting the Island. Cigarettes will go up 8p per packet of 20 from the 17th March 2004, and there were increases in beer (1p per pint) and wine (4p a bottle) to take effect from the 21st March 2004. There was no change again in the duty on spirits. The annual increases in petrol duties will not impact until September. The net effect of all these changes will be to raise around £1.5m in Customs receipts in 2004/5, around £100,000 above what was estimated in the Budget in February."

Mr Bell concluded,

"As usual, we have a busy time studying the detail which flows after the Budget statement. Examples of this include the announcement of the merger of the UK Customs and Excise with the Inland Revenue, and the intention to require accountants to notify specific tax avoidance schemes. Clearly we will take a close interest in these and other matters."

The effect of the various changes is estimated to increase the Retail Price Index by around 0.3%.

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