Alistair Darling pledged to announce concessions on his capital gains tax reforms within three weeks, promising the CBI employers’ organisation yesterday that he would “listen to what you have to say”. Finncial t/imes, Daily Telegraph, The Times.

'I know that my proposals to introduce a single rate of capital gains tax have been controversial. That was inevitable,' Darling told the CBI annual conference. 'We are working with the CBI and other business organisations to listen to what you have to say.'

The final details of the CGT regime that will come into effect next April will be announced to MPs 'in the next three weeks', said Darling.

He signalled his willingness to offer some sweeteners to entrepreneurs next spring, saying he wanted to work with business in the run up to the Budget, 'to ensure that encouraging enterprise remains at the very heart of [our] approach'.

But Darling did not make any specific proposals on CGT or commit to going beyond the concession that has already been trailed of a retirement relief allowing tax-free gains of up to £100,000 for people who sell their companies and retire.