Ahead of next Wednesday’s Budget speech, the CBI called for cuts of up to £2bn and a ‘sustained programme to reduce business costs over the next four years’.
In its Budget call the CBI pointed out that since 1997, business had been hit by £29bn in tax costs, while profitability in the services and manufacturing sectors had dropped sharply.
Digby Jones, CBI director-general, said: ‘The increasing tax burden is eating into the ability of firms to fund expansion, create wealth and sustain more and better-paid jobs. The government must begin rolling back these costs or end up paying a high price.’
Jones also called for ‘an increasingly competitive tax regime to attract and retain the companies of the future’ and said the provision of money for public services should be matched by ‘significant reform’.
‘Better value for money is vital – more money alone is not the answer.’
The CBI’s 2002 wishlist includes:
- A “meaningful” tax credit for research and development
- A tax credit to help smaller firms train employees
- An extension of discount eligibility criteria on the Climate Change Levy
- A reduction in stamp duty on business property
- Measures to resolve problems compared with international competitors
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