Company chief sees tax cut fuelling growth

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The cuts in corporation tax announced in the Budget will provide a boost for the economy, because it will enable entrepreneurs to spend more cash on developing their companies, according to a leading Yorkshire businessman.

Jonathan Straight, the chief executive of the Leeds-based environmental products firm Straight, welcomed moves to reduce the regulatory and tax burden. Chancellor George Osborne yesterday revealed he was cutting corporation tax to 24 per cent from next month. By 2014, it will fall to 22 per cent.

Mr Straight said: “The economy needs all the help it can get. We welcome this, because the less corporation tax we pay, the more we can invest in the business.” Mr Straight, who had been attending an event organised by the Yorkshire Mafia, the business networking organisation, at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, said there had been a “positive” atmosphere among the guests.

Commenting on the decision to cut the top rate of tax from 50p to 45p from April 2013, he said: “I do welcome it, but I would have preferred to hang on to the 50p rate a bit longer and then get rid of it. Even the Labour Government didn’t want this (the 50p rate) to be forever. It should be 40p.”

According to Mr Straight, punitive tax bands could encourage people who are “globally mobile” to leave the UK. He added: “The lower the taxes are, the more tax will be collected. People will not seek mechanisms to avoid paying it.”

Commenting on economic prospects, he said: “We had a rotten time last year, and so far this year, things have been much improved. There’s definitely a feeling of more optimism and more confidence.”