IT’S hard, I know, with all parties gearing up for electoral advantage, but what does York and North and East Yorkshire really want from Alistair Darling’s pre-Budget report on Wednesday, December 9?

Well, in broad-brush terms we all want to see the Government focus on how it intends to lead the UK out of the recession, moderate inflation and stimulate greater employment.

So top of my wish list is to see the how the Chancellor plans to ease the burden of taxation on both businesses and individuals to help kick-start the local economy.

We need to get the unemployed back into work, so wouldn’t it make sense to have a 12 month national insurance “holiday” or reduction in employer contributions, which are often seen as a “tax on jobs”?

This will hopefully encourage a quicker take-up of new workers by owner-managed businesses, which may be reluctant to recruit in the current climate.

And what about income tax?

Politics aside, the recent Liberal Democrat proposal to increase the single personal allowance to £10,000 may be something to consider.

This would stimulate local consumption within the economy and would remove from the income tax net a lot of part-time workers who suffer tax on below average earnings.

It makes little sense for someone earning less than 50 per cent of the average earnings to pay tax and national insurance contributions under PAYE.

I would like to see the Government address the position whereby taxpayers earning twice the average UK salary can still claim tax credits.

Why can’t the Chanxcellor enable all working people to keep more of their “earnings” by paying less direct income tax but without the need to claim tax credits.

Many wonder why the Government has chosen to exempt certain taxpayers, particularly landowners and business proprietors, from inheritance tax when the rest of the population have to suffer 40 per cent on all wealth above the IHT nil rate band – currently £325,000.

I suspect if the Conservatives’ proposal to increase the nil rate band to £1 million ever comes into force it might at the same time act as a reduction in the 100 per cent relief for landowners and business proprietors, as it will need to be funded in some way.

Few would like to see drastic changes to capital gains tax (CGT), but the current rate of just 18 per cent, if unchanged, will look out of place when the new 50 per cent for high earners is introduced in April, 2010.

Why doesn’t Mr Darling set the CGT rate at one half of a taxpayers’ income tax rate, as this should help stimulate property and other investment transactions over the next five years.

Few people actually pay CGT and it currently raises a relatively small amount for the Exchequer.

And what about stamp duty?

Hopefully property prices in York and North Yorkshire will start to recover in the near future.

However, the importance of first time buyers in starting this recovery should not be overlooked, so what about a proposal for outright exemption on your first property purchase – say up to £250,000?

Thereafter normal stamp duty rates could apply, but the Government should try to help firsttime buyers who may be struggling to find available credit.