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UK employers, stung by new levies, call for overhaul of tax system By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk across London Bridge during the morning rush hour, in London, Britain, June 11, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

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By William Schomberg

LONDON (Reuters) – British businesses are asking Finance Secretary Rishi Sunak to stop raising taxes and instead provide more help to meet the challenges of Brexit, COVID-19 and climate change as he delivers big budget reports next month.

The Confederation of British Industry urged Sunak to “put business taxes on top” when he presented new tax proposals and a three-year spending plan on October 27.

“The government’s lack of detail and speed on some of the major economic choices we have to make as a country is of greatest concern to business,” said CBI Director General Tony Danker. said in a speech excerpt that it would be delivered after Monday.

Danker asked Sunak to stop hitting companies that invest in making their premises less carbon-intensive with an increase in property tax payments, a fallacy of the business tax rate system.

He also said more needs to be done to boost skills training, speed up the development of new infrastructure projects such as Britain’s delayed high-speed rail and rewrite market rules. to attract more private investment.

The CBI and other employer groups protested last week that jobs would be lost after the government said it would increase social security contributions to fund health and social care.

That follows the announcement in March of a large corporate tax increase from 2023 to help close the UK public finance gap caused by Sunak’s £350 billion ($485 billion) spending to deal with the pandemic. coronavirus epidemic.

“I am extremely concerned when the government thinks that taxing business – perhaps more politically justified – has no consequences for growth,” Danker said.

As well as next month’s budget announcements, Sunak and Prime Minister Boris Johnson will discuss investment plans with business leaders and institutional investors in October.

The UK’s productivity level is 20% lower than that of the United States, France and Germany over the past two decades. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, business investment has also lagged behind those three countries each year at least since 2000.

Danker said Sunak offering a two-year tax break this year to boost investment by businesses will simply yield the investment planned for later years and is limited in scope. .

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