Business leaders believe UK tax system is a burden

Almost two thirds of business chiefs are unhappy with the government’s tax regime, according to a CBI survey.

The study of almost 100 major UK companies, published today at the CBI’s annual conference, found that the complexity of tax regulations was cited as the main problem.

Half of respondents said they had outsourced several business operations overseas, or were considering it to avoid the burden of complying with UK tax rules.

The survey also highlighted concerns about the UK’s ability to compete in the global economy, with the UK rate of corporation tax slipping from 10th best in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2000, to 18th in 2005.

The main rate for UK corporate tax is 30%, about 5% higher than the EU average.

CBI director-general Richard Lambert said: “Our survey shows that business leaders believe the UK’s corporate tax regime is more burdensome than five years ago, and that this is making the UK less attractive as an international business location.

“The worry is that on current trends, our position relative to other developed economies will deteriorate further over the next two or three years.”

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