Revised Bill fails to please

The Finance Bill is once again poorly drafted, despite now being partly in the hands of private practice lawyers as part of the Government's drive for improvement, according to the Law Society.

Concerns also remain on specific tax matters in the proposed legislation, including inadequate appeal provisions and 'over the top' rule changes.

The society's revenue law committee said last week it “finds it unsatisfactory that, despite the current debate about simplification of tax legislation, the Finance Bill is again drafted in the same impenetrable style as previously. This demonstrates yet again the need for a new approach to drafting tax legislation.”

The committee's comments follows condemnation from various sources last year, including Chancellor of the Exchequer Ken Clarke, that poorly drafted legislation in general and the Finance Bill in particular was a major problem to be addressed.

To the consternation of Parliamentary counsel, the Treasury farmed out the drafting of less contentious work last August. The committee's views are made in a memorandum published last week.