Speaking at the Advancing Enterprise conference, Sir Leahy claimed that more than 50% of his company’s profits were swallowed up by corporate taxes and national insurance contributions.
In the light of Tesco’s recent expansion into Turkey last November and its intentions to expand into China, Sir Terry said that in order for UK businesses to compete abroad they needed strong UK bases: ‘Over time, high taxes will hinder the UK’s ability to compete. If a government wants to foster and nurture global business it must create and sustain a competitive domestic market at home.’
Sir Terry also accused British business of being scared of success. ‘Are we ashamed of creating a business elite? Why is it that in the US and France people seem proud of what companies achieve, whereas here they seem suspicious?
‘Companies have benefited from a stable UK economy but needed to create a culture where profitability isn’t scorned, success does not lead to envy and enterprise is not derided,’ he added.
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