The outgoing Confederation of Business Industry president and former BT chairman made his comments to a select business audience, which included the prime minister himself, a special guest at the lobbying group’s annual dinner.
Amongst other things Vallance accused Blair of implementing a ‘string of stealthy tax hikes over the past five years’, and ‘squandering the UK’s advantage as a country in which to do business’.
And he accused Blair’s neighbour in Downing Street, chancellor Gordon Brown, of leaving something of a ‘sour taste in the mouth of the business community’ with his 2002 Budget.
Vallance singled out windfall taxes on utilities, the cut in dividend tax credits, the abolition of advanced corporation tax, an increase in road fuel duty and the climate change levy as the most hard-hitting impositions on business.
He did however praise the government for maintaining macroeconomic stability.
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