Easyjet’s fear over shares

Easyjet fears that employee share ownership could fall at the airline, following the government’s decision to move to a flat rate for capital gains tax (CGT) of 18% from April 2008.

Announced in Alistair Darling’s pre-Budget report last month, the move means that staff who are involved in sharesave schemes may lose out because they will no longer be able to benefit from taper relief.

Ken Lawrie, head of reward at Easyjet, said: “The values of our share schemes have done very well and we will have many employees whose gain in approved plans will exceed the capital gains threshold. Whereas previously they may have held onto shares to benefit from taper relief, there is no incentive for them to do so under the changed rules. We may, therefore, see less share ownership as a result.”