LONDON, September 13 (Reuters) – UK businesses will provide more help as Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak halts tax increases and prepares key budget reports next month to tackle Brexit, COVID-19 and climate change challenges requested that
The Confederation of British Industry urged Sunak on 27 October to “overturn business taxation” when it announced a new tax proposal and a three-year spending plan.
CBI Director Tony Danker said in a speech Monday that “the government’s lack of detail and speed in the big economic choices we have to make as a nation is the biggest concern for businesses.”
Danker told Sunak not to attack companies that invest in building carbon-intensive buildings while increasing property tax payments, a peculiarity of the business rate system.
He also said more work needs to be done to rewrite market rules to strengthen skills training, accelerate development of new infrastructure projects such as delayed UK high-speed rail and attract more private investment.
The CBI and other employers’ groups protested that jobs would disappear after the government last week said it would raise social security contributions to fund social and health care.
This comes in March following the announcement of significant corporate tax increases from 2023 to address a UK public finance loophole left by Sunak’s £350 billion ($485 billion) spending response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s very worrying that the government thinks that taxing businesses (which is probably more politically relevant) doesn’t affect growth,” Danker said.
Along with next month’s budget announcement, Sunak and Prime Minister Boris Johnson will discuss their investment plans with business leaders and institutional investors in October.
Productivity levels in the UK have been more than 20% lower than in the US, France and Germany over the past 20 years. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), corporate investment also lags behind these three countries every year since at least 2000.
Danker said the two-year tax cut that Sunak introduced this year to stimulate corporate investment would simply speed up future planned investments and would be of limited scope.
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Written by William Schomberg, edited by David Milliken
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