Godfrey Davis, the chief executive of Mulberry, the fast-growing luxury fashion retailer, has blamed punitive tax rates for not opening a second factory in the UK.
He said that Mulberry, which has one factory in Somerset, had been mulling introducing another in the UK next year, but the impact of rising National Insurance rates on its operating costs had convinced it not to.
Mr Davis told Drapers magazine: "We would love to make more in the UK but over the past 10 years the political and economic climate has not been conducive to investing in the UK." He wants "NI holidays" for manufacturers to open factories in this country. Employers will make NI contributions of 13.8 per cent for those earning more than £136 a week from April, up from 12.8 per cent. Mr Davis said: " If NI is put up to 14 per cent, every minute we are paying 14 per cent [of staff wages] to the Government in tax."