Shadow chancellor Michael Portillo’s proposals were part of a package of measures announced today which he claimed would help the UK to remain competitive.
The government plans to introduce the climate change levy in April to help reduce carbon emissions by 5 million tonnes a year by 2010.
Tory claims that the levy threatened 150,000 manufacturing jobs and would cost business £1bn per year were met with criticism by Labour, which said the levy would help tackle one of the biggest challenges facing the world today.
Portillo also promised to review the controversial IR35 legislation so that ‘people could enjoy the tax advantages of self-employment’.
To tackle the problems small businesses face with the VAT system, the Tories said they would give business six weeks at the end of each quarter to submit their VAT return.
In addition, Portillo said a Conservative government would set up an independent Business Protection Unit to help businesses in trouble and which could reschedule VAT payments.
He also said Customs & Excise would have to pay interest when it owes companies money at the same rate it demands from business for late payment.
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