from Rex Garratt, national spokesman, Forum of Private Business

Sir; We have read your stories about the burdens facing small retailers with interest. Gordon Brown should take a leaf out of President Bush’s economic policy and slash taxes that hold back business enterprise.
Heavy taxes are the number one complaint and are now intolerable. Lifting the burden would unleash entrepreneurial spirit and encourage businesses to create new wealth and jobs.
According to a World Bank report, British companies pay more than twice as much in direct and indirect taxes than firms in the US. British businesses pay 52.9% of gross profit in one form of tax or another. The tax on companies in the US was only 21.5%.
Taxes such as PAYE, National Insurance contributions, business rates, corporate tax, VAT, capital gains tax, dividend tax and fuel duty are among levies that the Forum of Private Business is calling on the Chancellor to reduce in order to give UK businesses the chance to grow and boost the economy.
Although small firms can now apply for reductions, the vast majority still pay a massive amount of business rates via their local council, and get absolutely nothing in return.
The World Bank also highlighted the complexity of the tax system in Britain, where there are to 22 different forms of taxation on companies. It suggested the introduction of ‘flat taxes’ to simplify the costly bureaucratic burden on firms.