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Take care, Chancellor, says City lobbying group alongside call for ‘streamlined’ tax

Jeremy Hunt is due to deliver the Autumn Statement on the nation’s finances later this month (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)
Jeremy Hunt is due to deliver the Autumn Statement on the nation’s finances later this month (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Wire)

It’s not unusual for lobbying groups to set out a wish list before major government announcements, but after the chaos of the last “mini”-Budget, one of the voices of UK business is calling for the Chancellor to take care.

TheCityUK has called on Jeremy Hunt to prioritise “clear, coherent and predictable” financial regulation with a focus on the country’s “competitiveness” not least via a “simplified and streamlined tax system” ahead of the Autumn Statement on the nation’s finances.

Miles Celic, the group’s chief executive officer, said: “Reforms should be built around a careful, considered approach, ensuring that regulation is clear, proportionate, tailored to the UK’s needs, and supports the industry’s international competitiveness.”

TheCityUK also had an eye on innovation, calling for greater use of technology in finance, including the “distributed ledger”, which is used in crypto currencies and allows for peer-to-peer digital systems to undertake and record transactions in multiple locations simultaneously.

It also advocated a “UK-US digital economy agreement,” which it said should be part of a “Global Britain” approach to help with “exporting financial products and services to new markets.”

While City lobbyists have long been used to calling for clarity and a focus on growth, it is noticeable that one of them at least is reminding Downing Street of the need for caution.

Hunt, who replaced Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor in mid-October amid the wreckage of the “mini”-Budget, is due to deliver the government’s Autumn Statement on November 17. He is expected to set out tax rises and spending cuts to plug a £60 billion gap in the UK’s public finances.

“We look forward to working with industry, government and regulators to maintain and grow the UK’s reputation as a leading international financial centre and drive economic growth across the country,” Celic added.