The Chancellor's decision to postpone his review of Capital Gains Tax has come under fire from business leaders.
Alistair Darling had told the CBI Conference in November that he would make an announcement on Capital Gains Tax in the next three weeks.
But he backtracked yesterday, saying changes to the CGT regime won't be announced until early 2008.
Citing a need to study the different representations he had received from businesses, he said: "It is not now going to be possible to conclude that process until the New Year."
The decision prompted an angry response from the CBI.
Richard Lambert, director-general, said: "We are glad that the Chancellor is paying attention to the submissions he has received from the business community, but he needs to get on with this decision urgently, as he promised at the CBI's conference.
"People need to be able to make decisions about their businesses - whether to invest, or whether to sell up. This uncertainty mustn't be allowed to continue."
Acting Liberal Democrat Leader and Shadow Chancellor, Vince Cable, said: "The Chancellor promised the CBI last month that he would bring further proposals to the reform of Capital Gains Tax, yet now we discover we will not hear any announcement until next year.
"It is entirely unacceptable that hundreds of thousands of businesses should be forced to live in this continued environment of uncertainty purely because the Government bungled its original proposals."
In his Pre-Budget Report this year, the Chancellor announced a cut in the main rate of CGT to 18 per cent from 40 per cent but at the same time got rid of taper relief - which reduced the tax payable on a business asset to 10 per cent after two years.
There have been suggestions that he could try to placate business by introducing changes for rules on retirement relief or those for small businesses.