PEMBROKE: Advisers miss a nice earner

Chris Smith, Labour's treasury spokesman, is busy peeling egg from his youthful features after his clever ammendment to the Finance Bill ran into hot water yesterday. Designed to encourage confused voters to figure out their increasingly complicated financial affairs by giving a tax break to advisers' fees, the ill-considered amendment opened a generous loophole that had accountants and financial advisers quietly rubbing their hands with anticipation. Keen to charge fat cats a fortune for advice on share options, payments in coffee beans or exotic wines, they were looking forward to their bills being subsidised by the Chancellor.

No longer. Mr Smith has admitted that the amendment may be too broad and is thinking about drafting a narrower version.