Business anger over changes to capital gains tax intensified yesterday after Alistair Darling delayed an announcement on concessions to his contentious reforms until the new year. Financial times, Daily Telegraph

The delay will prolong the damaging uncertainty over changes to CGT, say business leaders and opposition politicans. It will mean thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs will have to wait at least another three weeks before they know what rate of tax they will be charged on the sale of assets after April. Tax planners said the hiatus made it near-impossible to advise owners who are contemplating selling up.

Darling last month assured the CBI conference that he was listening to protests against his Pre-Budget Report decision to implement a single 18 per cent rate of CGT. This would replace the system where the tax rate on the sale of business assets is reduced the longer it is held, falling to 10 per cent after two years. But business warned the changes could hurt entrepreneurs.

Darling yesterday told MPs the 'quite complex' nature of proposals from business groups to mitigate the impact of the tax rise meant it was 'desirable to have further discussions with those groups before I finalise my proposals'.