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Government criticised over backdated shipping rates by top company bosses

DIRECTORS from 22 shipping companies, including P&amp;O European Ferries and DFDS Tor Line, have slammed the government, accusing it of ignorance, and a disregard for the future of jobs in the industry.<br /><br />In a letter to business secretary Lord Mandelson some of the most prominent names in UK port operations said the government had been &ldquo;hypocritical&rdquo; in its dealing with backdated business rates.<br /><br />The document also says that DFDS, which is the largest goods carrier between Scandinavia and the UK, is reconsidering its UK investment after the &ldquo;retrospective imposition of a &pound;9m tax bill through no fault of DFDS&rdquo;. <br /><br />Gefco, the main distributor of Peugeot and Citroen cars in the UK, has also threatened to leave because of the shipping rates. <br /><br />The letter is backed by the trade union Unite.