Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dear Gordon,

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Dear Gordon,

Article excerpt

Hugh morgan williams writes an open letter to Gordon Brown

Thankyou very much for your Christmas card and your wishes for a prosperous 2007. I accept your desire is genuine, but I would like to point out some of the great difficulties imposed by your Government on achieving prosperity.

In view of the possibility of you becoming Commander in Chief during this calendar year, your influence will be crucial in determining Britain's economic prosperity in the years ahead.

Whilst I, along with most of my colleagues in business applaud the macro economic stability enjoyed by this country over the last 10 years, storm clouds are gathering that threaten to blow away that stability like a winter storm.

Inflation, that scourge of the Seventies, is rearing its head, and the Bank of England is rightly taking action to curb excess and slow down the economy.

However, a large part of that inflationary pressure is Government induced: higher council tax, higher fuel prices, increased air travel duty, lower tax exemptions. Indeed, the number of people now having to pay higher rate tax is at an all-time record.

Senior nurses, public sector administrators, senior police officers and modest earners in the private sector are all now classified as rich, and liable to pay tax at the highest rate.

And, of course, the public sector pay bill continues to mount with more and more documented cases of inefficiency, waste and departments of Government not fit for purpose.

In the last 10 years, the burden of taxation on UK plc has risen dramatically, with the result that our competitive position in the world economy has started to fall.

Whilst other European countries are ruthlessly cutting corporation tax (even France, that most centrist European economy, is accepting corporate taxation is too high), the Treasury remains mute on improving the competitive position of Britain's companies against that of our European colleagues.

Some 38% of revenues are now paid out in tax, the highest level ever recorded, and the prospect for the next two years is even worse. This means companies have less resources for innovation and new product development. …

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