Theresa May to match Donald Trump's tax cuts

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Indy Politics

Theresa May will suggest she will match Donald Trump's expected cuts to corporation tax as she attempts to hold out an olive branch to business leaders.

In her first speech to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference, the Prime Minister will stress her "aim" for the UK to maintain its status as having the lowest corporation tax rate in the G20 group of countries.

The British rate of tax on company profits currently stands at 20% and is due to fall to 17% by 2020.

The United States' president-elect has pledged to cut the federal business tax rate from 35% to 15%, raising the prospect of a further slashing of corporation tax in the UK.

Mrs May will also say the Brexit vote presents an once-in-a-generation opportunity not just to leave the European Union but to change the country to make it fairer forever.

The PM's goal to ensure prosperity is shared more widely has been interpreted by some as anti-business, and her speech will seek to rebuild links with industry figures.

She will also announce plans to give science and research a funding boost worth £2 billion a year by 2020.

Mrs May will tell the CBI: "In the Autumn Statement on Wednesday, we will commit to substantial real terms increases in Government investment in R&D (research and development) - investing an extra £2 billion a year by the end of this Parliament to help put post-Brexit Britain at the cutting edge of science and tech.

"And we will also review the support we give innovative firms through the tax system ... because my aim is not simply for the UK to have the lowest corporate tax rate in the G20, but also one that is profoundly pro-innovation."