Alliance Boots chief takes swipe at UK tax regime

THE EXECUTIVE chairman of Alliance Boots has launched an attack against the UK tax environment, warning that it is in danger of driving away big business.

In last month’s Budget, the government cut the rate of corporation tax and cut the top rate of income tax. However, Stefano Pessina told the Financial Times that if the business climate in the UK did not change companies would consider moving elsewhere.

“The atmosphere of the country should be consistent with what the government is trying to do, and the general atmosphere of the country is really more and more against business,” Pessina told the FT.

Pessina added that Alliance Boots, which has been resident in Switzerland since 2007, was resident in the UK it would pay “more or less the same amount of taxes”.

In contrast to the business-friendly tax changes announced in the Budget, the government has pledged to get tough on tax avoidance.

Last Month, HM Revenue & Customs notably stopped Barclays from using two “aggressive” tax avoidance schemes.

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