Hundred Group invests £5m in tax research

The Hundred Group has invested £5m in a five-year joint project with Oxford
University to set up a research centre on taxation policies and policy options.

Jon Symonds, chairman of The Hundred Group, that represents the largest
listed companies in the UK (and CFO of pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca),
announced that members of the group would ‘make £5m available’ to support the
work of the centre over an initial five-year period.

The newly formed Oxford University centre for business taxation will carry
out a programme of ‘multi-disci`plinary research drawing together the expertise
within the university across a wide range of areas including economics, finance
and law’, a university statement read.

Based at the Saïd Business School and expected to be fully operational by
September next year, it will examine the ‘approach to the taxation of business
activities in the UK and evaluate the effects of the present structure of
taxation on the business sector, the public finances, international
competitiveness and the wider economy.

Jon Symonds said: ‘In an increasingly competitive international environment,
it is essential to explore new policy options and carry out a rigorous analysis
of their implications for business, the tax yield and the economy.

‘Government and business have a common interest in achieving sustainable
economic growth in the UK. Ensuring that the tax system encourages investment
and job creation is an important element in achieving that objective.’

Gus O’Donnell, cabinet secretary and formerly permanent secretary to the
Treasury, said the centre was an important new initiative that would ‘fill a
significant gap in the area of research into the taxation of business

During the set-up phase of the centre, the acting directors will be Professor
Colin Mayer; Peter Moores, professor of management studies at the Saïd Business
School; and Professor Judith Freedman, KPMG professor of taxation law in the
Oxford university law faculty.

A full-time director will be selected and appointed over the next few months,
followed by the appointment of further associate staff. The advisory board of
the centre will be chaired by Sir Derek Morris, provost of Oriel College.

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