Lib Dem plans fail to impress businesses

BUSINESS rounded on the Liberal Democrat manifesto yesterday, although economists praised the party for providing more detail on tax and spending than either of the two main parties.

John Cridland, the deputy director-general of the CBI, said it was vital that all parties “established a clear and robust plan to rebuild the public finances” and applauded Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg for setting out “some details” on how he plans to cut the country’s £170bn budget deficit.

But he hit out at a plan to introduce a new 50p rate of capital gains tax, arguing that “taxing capital gains at the same rate as other income fails to recognise or reward the risk and investment we need from entrepreneurs and small businesses to help the economy grow.”

Director-general of the Institute of Directors agreed, saying that the Lib Dem proposals would inhibit growth.

He added: “Their tax proposals are a source of concern. The fundamental principle here should be to reduce spending, and not raise taxes at all.”

Robert Chote, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies welcomed tax and spending proposals that “were more extensive and more detailed… than the other main UK parties”.