Those involved in tax-efficient investment have barely had time to catch their breath, writes Dermot Campbell, CEO at Kuber Ventures.
Hot on the heels of major fiscal changes announced in late 2017 has come even more Brexit-related uncertainty, heightening dependency on investors to nurture the growth companies that Britain relies on.
Rule changes imposed by the Treasury were designed to shift the emphasis from the misaligned asset-backed approach to a focus on supporting growth companies.
It is too early to conclude that they have succeeded, but we have seen what amounts to the re-appearance of the sorts of venture capitalists who can support this development and help to build businesses.
First, however, it is worth noting the significance of Theresa May's survival in recent votes of no confidence among her MPs, in both late 2018 and in January 2019. This has had the beneficial side-effect of stabilising the outlook for tax-efficient investment programmes such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).
Under the rules of the Conservative Party, there cannot be another such vote for a year. This has greatly reduced the chances of a change of government and, with it, the possibility that policy towards tax-efficient investment could head off in an entirely new direction.
Whatever the merits of the Labour opposition's ideas in this area, a major upheaval would have been disruptive, to say the least.
The industry is already coming to terms with the changes introduced in Chancellor Philip Hammond's Budget in November 2017, effectively closing down the low-risk 'capital preservation' schemes that had flourished under the previous regime and insisting that investors backed genuine growth companies by putting their money at a real, as opposed to notional, risk.
It is fair to say not only that the Treasury has performed well in terms of moving against the mass-produced 'pastry cutter' schemes whose only purpose was to take advantage of the tax breaks, but it has been sufficiently comprehensive in deciding the current settlement ought to hold - certainly in the near term - bringing a welcome certainty to the world of tax-efficient investment.