Alistair Darling was lambasted by the CBI for being in a state of complete confusion on his proposed reforms to capital gains tax, as he continues to agonise over how to water down his original proposal. Financial Times, Daily Telegraph

The chancellor promised to announce his final plan before Christmas, then said there would be a statement in the new year. After another week of silence, the patience of some business leaders is exhausted.

Richard Lambert, the head of the CBI, said the delays were causing 'enormous damage' to the reputation of the government and the issue was a 'touchstone' in its relations with business.

'We are in a state of complete confusion,' Lambert said.

He said that he was not aware of any talks between business groups and the government on the issue in the past few weeks.