CBI: Business tax increases should be taken off the menu

by Rachael Singh

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20 May 2010

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The head of a CBI has called for a halt to new business taxes, in a speech to an audience including the new chancellor.

The tax burden on businesses must not be increased, said the president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Helen Alexander, at its annual dinner last night.

Alexander said: "More taxes on business shouldn’t even be considered. If we want enterprise, jobs and growth – and we all know that we do – then more tax on business will have the opposite effect, so this approach has to come off the menu.”

She said there were four key points to aid business: a sustainable path back to fiscal health; a tax system that looks for growth and doesn't "hit business" ; the right infrastructure and reform of public services and public sector pensions.

Alexander referred to Osborne during the speech.

"The main thing the economy needs is for the deficit to be sorted. We welcome the creation of an independent office for Budget responsibility, and I know your treasury team is already working flat out on an emergency budget. But I cannot stress enough the importance of being bold.”

She said the relationship between government and business needed to be positive and urged business not to beused as "political football".

"Election-time attacks on wealth creators may go down well with some voters, but they go down really badly with the very entrepreneurs who need to be firing on all cylinders right now,” she said.

Alxeander is also chairman of Accountancy Age owners Incisive Media.

Further reading:

Tory rebels criticise CGT tax moves

Clegg pledges a ‘fairer’ tax system

Raise income tax not VAT, say finance managers

Osborne's corporation tax cuts will cost £4.5bn: Vantis

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