Six out of 10 business leaders in London say the city’s competitiveness is under threat, citing concerns about transport infrastructure, skills shortages and changes in the taxation of foreign residents.

The latest CBI/KPMG London Business Survey found the percentage believing the capital’s competitiveness to be threatened had doubled in the past year, while one in 10 said it had deteriorated. Only one in 12 thought it had improved, down from one in three a year ago.

On the top of the list of complaints was the new taxation regime for nondomiciled people in the UK, which 70 per cent of the business leaders blamed for damaging London’s attractiveness as an international business destination.

There was apprehension about the way reforms were introduced, with eight out of 10 saying the £30,000 annual fee and ever-changing rules had adversely affected Britain’s reputation for tax stability and planning.

Most of the business leaders said they still regarded London as a favourable place to do business, but only 37% rated it very good – the lowest score since the half-yearly survey by the employers’ body and the professional services firm began in January 2005.

Financial Times