Sir Digby Jones, the new trade and investment minister, is set to clash with Cabinet colleagues over his call to make corporate taxation more competitive and force through infrastructure plans. Daily Telegraph
Jones has called for 'more competitive' corporation tax rates and urged fellow ministers to speed through Crossrail and Heathrow expansion plans.
The outspoken former director-general of the Confederation of British Industry promised 'not to take any prisoners' in this new job and promised to investigate Britain's regional development agencies to ensure they are not offering 'tax bungs' to foreign companies.
'If I'm overseas, banging the drum for Britain, and they tell me they are worried about our rate of tax, I can promise you as soon as the wheels hit the tarmac in the UK I will be over to Number 11 to tell Alistair Darling,' he said.
'I'd like to see more competitive corporate taxation. I don't mind if it's used to stimulate economy and business profitability, to encourage R&D and small businesses.'
'In Germany the rates may well be higher,' he said, 'but what if, after the reliefs and allowances, the cheque companies pay is less than here, and the company pays less per pound earned in Germany?'
Jones added: 'We must have better transport infrastructure in the south-east and that's a big challenge. Whether it's the Heathrow expansion or Crossrail in London, we need it.'