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UK finance minister Zahawi to look at corporation tax - Sun

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: British government crisis

LONDON (Reuters) - New British finance minister Nadhim Zahawi will take a closer look at the level of corporation tax, which is due to rise sharply next year, he said in an interview with The Sun newspaper published on Friday.

However Zahawi - who was appointed on Tuesday after Rishi Sunak stepped down in protest at Prime Minister Boris Johnson's leadership - also said tax cuts needed to be funded, and should not further fuel surging inflation.

"I want to make sure we remain financially disciplined - so whatever I do on taxation I have to make sure I can pay for it and bear down on inflation," he said in the interview, which took place on Wednesday.

After intense pressure from Conservative lawmakers, Johnson announced on Thursday he would leave office once the party had elected a new leader, and has promised not to make any major policy changes during his remaining time in power.

This means it is uncertain if Zahawi will still be finance minister later this year under a future prime minister, when the next annual budget is due. The Sun said Zahawi himself was eyeing a run at the Conservative leadership, though he has made no formal announcement.

Zahawi said in the interview he wanted to cut the cost of government if possible, and use that to fund lower personal and corporate taxation.

Under Sunak's plans, Britain's main rate of corporation tax is due to rise to 25% in April 2023 from 19% now.

"One tax we can compare globally is corporation tax rates, and that influences decision making," Zahawi said. "It is not the only consideration but it influences decision-making, and that long-term investment that companies will be making."

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Alistair Smout)

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