Hundred Group warns Darling against tax increases

The Hundred Group had strong words for Alistair Darling, warning him against
increasing the scale and complexity of business tax, ahead of next month Budget.

The group’s chairman, Ashley Almanza – group FD of British Gas – said that
Darling should not turn to the corporate sector for more revenue to alleviate
government’s finances.

‘For members of the Hundred Group, tax is increasing faster than GDP, faster
than inflation and faster than the rate at which overall tax receipts are
increasing. I think not just the Hundred Group but business more widely would be
severely disappointed if we see an increase in the total tax from companies. It
would make no sense at all to increase the burden on corporations which are such
a vital part of the economy’s performance,’ Almanza said.

A survey of the largest corporate tax payments revealed an 11% increase from
2006 figures.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the amount of corporation tax paid rose
by nearly a fifth between 2006 and 2007 and by more than 50% over the last three
years, the Times reported.

The 72 companies who participated in the survey paid £23bn in tax last year,
of which £12.8bn was corporation tax – which accounted for more than a quarter
of the Treasury’s total corporation tax figure.

Almanza also called on the Treasury to simplify tax, in the light of the £65m
cost of compliance to the 72 companies in the last year.

Further reading:

Tax receipts brim over HMRC coffers

Dealmakers fret over tax clearances

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