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From the spring, a single rate of 18 per cent will apply to all business and non-business assets that are subject to capital gains.

Currently capital gains tax on non-business assets such as second homes or art and antiques are subject to a sliding scheme of tax starting at 40 per cent and falling to 24 per cent after ten years.

As part of this new system, the established annual exempt amount (currently £9200) will remain in place, but taper relief and indexation allowance will be withdrawn in favour of a flat rate.

The new tax package will take effect next April.