Lord Sugar warns rise in CGT would devastate enterprise

ONE of the UK’s best known entrepreneurs yesterday spoke of the potentially “devastating” effects of the proposed capital gains tax (CGT) hike on levels of enterprise in the country.

Lord Sugar, the Labour peer and Apprentice star, slammed the coalition’s plan to bring CGT into line with income tax, claiming the move would deincentivise those mulling whether to risk of starting up a new business.

“It will have a devastating effect on enterprising people’s desire to take the lead and set up their own businesses with a view of either floating them or selling them by way of a trade sale,” Sugar warned fellow peers. “There is a £2m entrepreneurial relief currently in place but in this day and age this amount falls short of the aspirations of growth companies.”

The government is now widely expected to incorporate substantial climbdowns to the original CGT proposals into Tuesday’s Budget, including exemptions for entrepreneurs and a degree of taper relief. MPs supporting the Westminster campaign against the hike said they would be astonished if the plans made it into the Budget without amendment.