News in brief

GPs benefit from Budget 
The deferral in last week's Budget in bringing in controversial income-shifting rules until 6 April 2009 will benefit GPs with their own companies, say accountants from the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (AISMA). They will be able to continue diverting income to a spouse paying basic-rate tax for a further year. Any practice with capital allowances of £1,000 or less will be able to write off the whole amount in one year, rather than phasing tax relief over three years.

Short-term contracts
The introduction of short-term contracts into general practice (GP, 14 March) has been ruled out by the chairman of the NHS Alliance and contributor to the Darzi review, Dr Michael Dixon. In a letter to GP, he said the plan had been 'rapidly excluded because we believe that general practice is about long-term relationships, providing continuity and personal care. These require long-term personal and financial commitment.'

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