The autumn statement/budget on 22nd November is getting closer, so we may soon learn the government’s views on patient capital.
At a Proven VCT meeting on 1 November the VCT manager, Stuart Veale, seemed certain that something will change for VCTs, but nobody knows what. Richard Waltham spoke to him afterwards to suggest that if the changes are adverse then the main focus for lobbying could move from the Treasury to MPs. It may only take a handful of MPs to trigger a re-think, so the VCTs and their investees and shareholders should be ready to act. Stuart Veale was already working on the VCT and investee fronts but had not considered marshalling his shareholders in readiness. Obviously, Stuart only has access to the subset of shareholders and investees who are involved with Proven VCT.
Tim Grattan was at the Crown Place VCT AGM on Wednesday and the managers there were all fearing the worst on November 22nd. They think the most likely outcome is that up-front tax relief will be reduced (possibly down to 20%) and most (or possibly all) asset-backed VCT investments (freehold property) will not be permitted in the future.
I mention this in case you think it is worthwhile to start thinking about how the wider set of VCT and EIS shareholders (and perhaps investees) might be organised at short notice, if the need becomes apparent on 22 November. Perhaps ours and other organisations and websites might be able to act quickly and sure-footedly.
I expect that some shareholders will know whether their local MP is likely to be sympathetic, and some shareholders may even know their MP well enough to get a sympathetic hearing.
If you are not already a member of the VCT Investors Group, then please click here to register and join https://www.sharesoc.org/campaigns/vct-investors-group/
PS It’s the Albion Seminar on Wednesday 15th November, so that would provide a good opportunity for garnering grassroots support for any future lobbying.