The annual conference of the bosses' organisation the CBI is usually marked by a series of complaints about wages (too high), regulation (too much) and taxes (too unavoidable) – just like a trade union conference but in reverse. This year's conference is no exception.
The conference led with a survey from bosses about taxes (again!) which, according to the CBI's own website said the following:
'Business leaders believe the UK's corporate tax regime is worse than it was five years ago and think the Government should cut business taxes and simplify the system to halt the country's declining international competitiveness … Seven in ten business leaders believe the UK is a poorer international business location than in 2001, and three-quarters say the corporate tax regime is worse. Almost all are concerned with the increased complexity of the tax system, and the demands of compliance, as well as the rate of corporate tax compared internationally. '
A report in the FT, issued on the same day, stated that 19 top UK companies have relocated abroad over the last period due to our tax system. However the article lets the cat out of the bag when it quotes the CBI as complaining about the 'aggressive approach of the tax authorities.' In other words the taxman is not sufficiently obliging anymore in letting companies find new ways of avoiding taxes. This on top of a system that already hits ordinary people more severely than multinational companies.
No doubt CBI delegates after conference retired to flash restaurants where they were able to moan at leisure about work shy scroungers sponging off the state – maybe they should try looking in the mirror!