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UK Pre Budget Statement 3 December 2004

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

"My initial view is that the statement has little of direct relevance to the Island, our revenue projections, or our ability to complete the taxation strategy by bringing in a zero percent standard rate of corporate tax in 2006.

"The Chancellor has focussed his attention on improving childcare provision and increasing participation within the workforce. This is something that we have included within the Economic Strategy, recently endorsed by Tynwald, and so work on developing policies in these areas is already underway.

"We always study the detail which accompanies the statement. There are changes in respect of fuel duties and VAT to which we will need to pay particular interest, and the proposed increase of 2.42 pence per litre on rebated fuels has been reduced to 1 pence per litre. This increase is being applied from midnight tonight. The previously announced increases on other road fuels such as petrol are not now to be applied."

The effect of the various changes is estimated to have no material impact on the Manx Retail Price Index.

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