Leahy warns against post-election tax rises

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The Independent Online

Sir Terry Leahy, the chief executive of Tesco, called for interest rates and taxes to be kept on hold and regulation kept in check at the Institute of Directors.

Sir Terry Leahy, the chief executive of Tesco, called for interest rates and taxes to be kept on hold and regulation kept in check at the Institute of Directors.

"My view is that the consumer picture in the UK is still unclear," he said yesterday. "The economy relies on a confident consumer, and I hope that this will weigh heavily on any interest rate decisions ... I don't think it is a state secret to say that business would be unhappy to see taxes going up after the election."

Defending the bumper profits that Tesco recently announced, Sir Terry said that the retailer would remain aggressively competitive and that customers acted as a natural regulator for supermarkets "just as voters help keep politicians honest".

"I struggle with the idea that we want British companies to be a bit less successful - to be good, but not too good. In business as in sport, I just don't see how you can set out to be half-good. We all know what happens in boxing if you pull your punches. You get knocked out. And it's the same in business," he said.

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