By Tim Montgomerie
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Some good news for George Osborne this morning. KPMG has completed its annual survey of "senior tax decision makers" from large global companies and Britain has risen to number one in the league table of competitive tax systems. It was placed fifth last year and the Chancellor sees the survey as vindication of his plan to deliver successive annual cuts in the UK's corporation tax. Next year's rate will be 21%, one of the lowest in the developed world. Greeting the survey, Mr Osborne issued this statement:
"We made a commitment to create for Britain the most competitive corporate tax system in the G20, and within just two and half years this report shows that is what the world's leading companies now think we have. These companies can choose to invest and create jobs anywhere, but are increasingly choosing Britain and showing that Britain can compete in the global race. It is a remarkable turnaround, and a tribute to the steps we have taken in Budgets this Parliament."
The good news for the Government coincides with his decision to launch a joint initiative with France and Germany to encourage multinational companies to pay more tax in countries where they have significant business. International tax laws have largely been unchanged for decades and the Chancellor wants an update to these laws so that enterprises like Starbucks, Google and Amazon pay taxes in the countries where they operate rather than in tax jurisdictions where tax rates might be lower. There is more on this initiative in many of today's newspapers, as well as on the BBC website.