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Businesses tell government to avoid knee-jerk tax hikes

BUSINESS organisations will today call on the government to avoid knee-jerk tax rises in the emergency Budget later this month.

In a report published today, City lobby group London First warns the UK is losing its reputation as a business-friendly location thanks to a series of surprise tax rises.

John Dickie, director or strategy and policy at London First, said: “The UK has traditionally been viewed as having a business supportive tax regime, but recent changes which came from nowhere – like the non-doms tax, new 50 per cent top rate income tax and the bankers’ bonus tax – have put this reputation under threat.”

Dickie will call on the government to reverse the 50p rate before the end of the parliament and to raise indirect taxes like VAT if it must.

However, the British Retail Consortium will tell the government that public spending cuts alone should be used to slash Britain’s yawning £156bn budget deficit.

But it will warn against reducing spending too quickly, amid fears among retailers that a VAT hike and swingeing cuts could hammer the retail sector.