TaxCorporate TaxCBI welcomes Blair’s low-tax pledge

CBI welcomes Blair's low-tax pledge

Director general of the CBI Digby Jones has welcomed Tony Blair's conciliatory moves towards business at the lobbying group's annual conference.

Link: CBI warns of future tax rises

The prime minister used his speech to the conference to reiterate his commitment to Europe, but also to reassure delegates that he will not allow EU membership to erode the UK’s low taxes.

In a speech intended to build bridges between government and business, Blair focused on the need to curb the EU’s tendency to over-regulate.

‘You know that to be anti-Europe is to be anti-business. But you also know – and so do I – that a reform agenda for Europe is also vital. This is an area where we wholeheartedly welcome your engagement,’ he said.

‘Specifically, on the matters of tax, social security and the EU budget, we oppose any move away from unanimity. Within Europe Britain is a low-tax country and I am adamant that we will remain that way,’ he went on.

Jones welcomed the prime minister’s statements.

On European regulation, Digby Jones said: ‘The prime minister was absolutely right to say that we need to re-define the way Europe thinks about regulation.

‘There are too many EU politicians who reach for the regulatory stick before considering the damage it will do. British business will be four-square behind the prime minister as he tries to change that. He is right that we must engage with Europe but we also need to punch our weight.’

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