More protest over CGT plan

CITY heavyweights rushed yesterday to add their voices to City A.M.’s campaign against the new coalition government’s damaging plans to raise capital gains tax (CGT) to levels similar to income tax rates.

City veteran Brian Winterflood, the founder of the market-making firm of the same name, threw his weight behind the cause, claiming that the proposals would wreak havoc on entrepreneurial spirit and investment in the UK.

Other big-hitters who yesterday signed up to the campaign included Nick Leslau, the Prestbury Investments property entrepreneur who last year pulled off one of the most successful floats of the year, raising £220m by listing his investment vehicle Max Property on Aim.

“I have always believed that short- term investing should be penalised and that people should be rewarded for making long-term investments and creating jobs,” Leslau told City A.M. “It is crucially important that the Conservatives don’t just roll over and let the Liberal Democrats take the lead on a proposal that could damage our economy and jeopardise the recovery.”

Jupiter Asset Management fund manager Ian McVeigh also pledged his support. “Politicians rely on general ignorance of how companies are owned to attempt tax hikes on savers when they should be cutting the deficits that their gross overspending has caused,” he said.

The campaign has already received backing from the likes of private equity mogul Jon Moulton, Seymour Pierce boss Keith Harris, Tullett Prebon chief executive Terry Smith and entrepreneur Luke Johnson.

Instead of the proposed CGT hikes – which could see rates rise as high as 40 per cent, in line with income tax – this newspaper supports the system of tapering CGT rates over time, which would prevent people disguising income as short-term gains while propping up long-term investment in the UK economy.