The Government never ceases to tell us that it is a business friendly Government but as my Grandmother use to say, ‘fine words butter no parsnips.’ In other words a statement is easy to make but the record points to a different conclusion.
Since this Government came to power the burden of increased regulation and red tape has cost British business an additional £55.6 billion pounds.
Corporate taxes are amongst the highest in Europe and yet the Chancellor increased them for the majority of businesses in this country by a massive 16% in the last budget.
In 1997 Tolleys Yellow Tax Handbook of British Tax code contained 4555 pages. That had grown to a massive 9841 pages some nine years later and many of them applied to business in the UK.
The Prime Minister, when he was Chancellor, consistently boasted of the way he had increased the number of entrepreneurs but the truth is that his budget of 2002, which opened up the ability for one man bands to incorporate, accounted for much of that growth and in fact turned out to be a massive error which led to the increase in Corporation Tax quoted above.
I could go on but I think the point is made.
Businesses in Britain face a growing and potentially overwhelming challenge over the next 30 years, not least from the emerging countries of Brazil China and India and indeed it is estimated that India and China alone will control 60% of Global Trade by 2050.
The challenge Britain’s wealth producing sector faces to ensure we remain a prosperous country is a massive one and the sector needs all the help it can get from whichever quarter yet this Government and this Prime Minister have done much to harm the competitive ability of most businesses in this country.
So much for Chancellor, and now Prime Minister, Gordon Brown’s hollow boast.
Brian Binley MP