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The Adam Smith Institute responds to the annual CBI conference

The Adam Smith Institute has responded to speeches at the CBI’s annual conference.

Responding to Boris Johnson’s comments on tax changes at the CBI annual conference, Matt Kilcoyne of the Adam Smith Institute said:  

“The Conservatives plans to reduce National Insurance and urgently review business rates are welcome moves - however, the abandonment of the corporate tax cuts are a retrograde move that cedes ground to socialists as they seek power in next month’s election. 

“Corporation tax is a particularly poor way of raising government revenue. By taxing capital, the government deters firms from investing in their workforce, lowering productivity and wages — nearly 60% gets passed onto lower wages. Britain suffers from a productivity puzzle, and businesses have held back investment already thanks to uncertainty over the Brexit deal. The last thing the economy needs is a tax rate that deters investment. 

“Business rates may stir passion on the campaign trail, but the evidence just isn't there to support a review. A review will find what the last six reviews found, that the system is working well for the treasury. The real problem with business rates is that they fall on property and not land. Any improvement to a shop or pub simply sees an increase in the rate payable and this deters investment. As it stands, any rate cut will just translate into higher rents. A cut in business rates is a subsidy and a sop to landlords.”

In response to Jeremy Corbyn’s remarks, Matt Kilcoyne said:

”Corbyn has come out with warm weasel words about a decent society to those gathered at the CBI's annual conference. But the Labour leader has forgotten that a decent society is not one where the government expropriates private property, nor one where politicians can pinch hundreds of billions from your pension pots through nationalisations and equity grabs, nor is it one where government racks up unsustainable debts that undermine the economic stability of the country.

"Anywhere and everywhere that has tried Corbyn's style of socialism has seen economic collapse and the ruin of the nation. The cost of Corbyn is too much for this country."

To arrange an interview or further comment, please contact Matt Kilcoyne via email ( or phone (07904099599).

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