Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : New Ambitions for Britain – The Government´s Second Finance Bill [July 1998]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 31 July 1998.

Measures to promote a successful economy and a fairer society were enacted today when the Finance (No. 2) Bill received Royal Assent.

Financial Secretary Dawn Primarolo said today:

“This Act promotes fairness for all – business, employment, the family – and ensures that everyone has a fair chance to realise their ambitions. It is an Act for opportunity and stability.”

The Finance Act implements many of the measures of the March Budget, including:

  • a Code for Fiscal Stability with a statutory basis to ensure fiscal policy is open, transparent, accountable and set in Britain’s long term interests;
  • reducing rate of corporation tax to 30 per cent (and to 20 per cent for small companies) – the lowest rates ever;
  • major reforms of capital gains tax, including a new long-term effective rate of 10 per cent on business assets, that will encourage long-term investment and growth of dynamic firms;
  •  measures to protect the environment;
  •  measures to ensure everyone pays their fair share of tax.

Together with:

  • extending the New Deal to new groups excluded from the labour market;
  • a major programme of tax and benefit reform to make work pay, including the new Working Families Tax Credit and restructuring National Insurance
  • new help for the costs of childcare and a significant boost to child benefit;
  • as well as £1 billion of extra spending for health, education and transport for this year.