Introduction

Barely two months after the budget and with an election looming, corporate Britain could be forgiven for wishing a curse on all politicians. Complicated tax and benefits regime and reams of red tape and bureaucracy have given business a lot to complain about.

Strict fiscal control is prudent on one level but the missed opportunities for investment in transport infrastructure and public services such as schools and hospitals could have provided a much needed boost to companies – and not just those involved in construction or service provision. Continued public investment would do much to prevent a slide into recession and would restore confidence.

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As a Sunday Business analyst has reported, the tax burden on business has been rising steadily. “Tax as a share of GDP – the total output of the economy – has now risen by some 2.5 percentage points since Labour swept to victory in May 1997, equivalent to an additional burden on business of approximately ?25 billion.”

Business Excellence continues to exercise minds in the boardroom. High on the agenda are corporate governance, shareholder relations, post merger rationalisation, and naturally, e-commerce and IT strategy.

As David Taylor president of IT directors’ association, CERTUS tells us, “If you do what we have always done, you will get what we have always got. It is staggering how many of us, at a leadership, personal and corporate level, continue to do exactly the same as we have always done, and complain when we achieve exactly the same results.”