Gordon Brown introduced the scheme in 2005. Doughty implies it's being used for tax avoidance.

Former Labour Chancellor and Prime Minister Gordon Brown introduced the Business Premises Renovation scheme in 2005. Doughty implies it’s being used for tax avoidance.

Stephen Doughty the Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth has implied that a tax scheme originally introduced in 2005 by Labour Chancellor Gordon Brown is being improperly used to dodge tax.

Stephen Doughty Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth

Stephen Doughty Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth

Doughty wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer  how many people using the “Business Premises Renovation Allowance Scheme” have also been subject to investigation by HM Revenue and Customs for  what he called “tax avoidance or tax evasion”.

In his written question Doughty also asked how much tax relief had been granted under the Business Premises Renovation Allowance Scheme in each of the last six years and when it’s planned to close the scheme.

Replying, the Treasury Minister David Gauke told Doughty  that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) doesn’t collate this information “at the aggregate level requested”. He said that Business Premises Renovation Allowance (BPRA) “is an incentive designed to bring the derelict or unused business properties back into use, by providing 100 percent relief for renovation of vacant properties in disadvantaged areas”.

Treasury Minister David Gauke

Treasury Minister David Gauke

David Gauke’s written response said that “In 2012 HMRC noticed a spike in the cost of BPRA. Investigations revealed that this increase was due to marketed avoidance. HMRC challenges avoidance wherever they see it. Where taxpayers choose to press their case to litigation, HMRC wins around 80% of cases heard in court. In addition, legislation was introduced in Finance Act 2014 to prevent future avoidance.The NAO [ National Audit Office] complimented the speed with which HMRC addressed this avoidance and tightened the legislation.”

Gauke concluded by saying that “The costs of BPRA are published annually in HMRC’s Estimated cost of minor tax allowances and structural reliefs ” and said it  had been announced in 2011 that Business Premises Renovation Allowance would be “extended to 31 March 2017 for Corporation Tax and 5 April 2017 for Income Tax”.

Neither party mentioned that the Business Premises Renovation Allowance Scheme was originally introduced by Labour Chancellor Gordon Brown in the 2005  Finance Act.

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  1. Christopher David says:

    Mr Doughty- as you’ve demonstrated you don’t actually know what an incorporated business is perhaps you could fill us in with some details? My suggestion is you either stick to local matters or you have a pop at the 2000 big corporations utilising the Dutch Sandwich and the like to evade billions in corporation taxes. Get us back something to help with you’re £300,000 costs PA.

  2. Philip Rapier says:

    Not sure who is getting the Tax Relief on the empty Aircraft Hangar at St. Athan but thanks to First Minister Carwyn Jones it is soon to be occupied by Aston Martin and 750 Highly Skilled Employees with Wage Packets and no Zero Hours contracts. Welsh Government has been working hard on this for two years but it would be remiss of me not to offer additional sincere thanks to Conservative Opposition Leader in the Assembly Andrew R.T. Davies whose dynamic James Bond like intervention hit the headlines on PDN yesterday when he declared himself to be an “Outer” wishing to leave the European Union. Well Done Andrew! Keep up the good work as “Aston Martin” depends on “Italian Investment”. News of your joining the “no hopers” of the out campaign has obviously given them confidence in Rome and clinched this Pan European Deal with 750 jobs for us in the Cardiff and S.E. Wales Economic Powerhouse ( which you are also opposed to I understand.)

    • Dido Carthy says:

      An electric SUV from Aston Martin aimed at women and code named Charlotte 🙂
      Edwina Heart refuses to say how much this pre-election bribe was, this sound more and more like a waste of money akin to the Newport LG Electronics plant or the Valleywood studios or even the St Athan MOD training centre of excellence all of which had the duff hand of Labour involved in them..

  3. Christopher David says:

    In my experience in working with the WDA, Finance Wales and International Business Wales some very knowledgeable and competent civil servants (the best came with private sector experience) brought in the projects big and small. So called “Ministers” for the big ones and local AM’s for the small ones would jump on the bandwagon for the publicity and false credit right at the end. So in the unlikely event Carwyn had any real input well- he owes us, in fact he owes us £38 million for the land sale debacle alone. Never listen to the self serving politicos we get here. As an aside the CEO of Aston Martin stated that he has no opinion on whether we should stay in the EU or not. In fact he said it wasn’t for big business to influence, it was the populace who should decide on staying or leaving without big business trying to swing opinion – in his opinion. Remember we have 2,000 big business sending their profits through the Dutch Sandwich at al to enable them so escape corporation tax. They’ll tell you what’s best for their directors and corporate shareholders. Nor did he- Astons boss state labour or any politicians helped the Aston cause. Things don’t arf get twisted don’t they! Never trust these expense fiddling club members or dodgy motive supporters.

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