We kicked off the tour in Newton Abbot with Westaways Sausages, where we met the MD, Charles Baughan, who accompanied the Prime Minister on a recent trade mission to China. We went on to speak to the Una Group in Plymouth, a diversified business that embraces manufacturing, business services and property businesses. We then travelled up the M4 to visit Thatcher’s Cider, and were given a tour of the very modern factory by the Chairman, John Thatcher.
We heard a lot about where the tax system is relatively easy (payroll taxes and VAT) and where it is more complicated (corporation tax). We were really impressed with the drive and enthusiasm of everybody we met, and came away with some really practical ideas on how to improve the competitiveness of the UK tax administration. We will set out some of these ideas in a paper shortly.