New Labour has brought a return to old-style bureaucracy and tax penalties, according to the 270 finance directors who took part in this week’s Big Question survey by Accountancy Age and Reed Accountancy Personnel.
Only 15% said government policies had helped their business, while 54% said government policies were hurting their business.
The main complaints were about workplace legislation and tax reforms, especially corporation tax self-assessment.
‘They have introduced too many bureaucratic and poorly implemented rules; for example, the recent change of mind on the working time regulations,’ said David Curds of film manufacturer Autotype International.
The introduction of fines for companies which make forecasting errors in corporation tax returns attracted particular anger. ‘The new corporation tax laws are making it very difficult for people,’ said Sunil Patel of Ovid Technologies.
Steve Clowes of component manufacturer Microponents said: ‘We have increased national insurance contributions and face more administration.’
But Mark Welby of The British Academy said: ‘The business climate has benefited from efficient management of the economy.’
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