UK think tank warns government on tax policy - FT

London Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:19am GMT

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London (Reuters) - A new tax policy being touted by the British government will foster a new avoidance industry, Paul Johnson, the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said in an opinion piece in the Financial Times on Tuesday.

He said chancellor George Osborne's "shares for workers' rights" initiative could end up costing Britain 1 billion pounds a year in lost revenues, at the same time as the government battles to clamp down on tax avoidance schemes.

"Just as government ministers are falling over themselves to condemn such (avoidance) behaviour, that same government is trumpeting a new tax policy which looks like it will foster a whole new avoidance industry," Johnson said.

"Much tax policy is made carefully and with extensive consultation. But it doesn't take very many of these sorts of rushed, ill thought-out and badly designed bits of policy to undermine the rest of the system," he said.

(Reporting by Stephen Mangan; editing by Christopher Wilson)

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