Daily Mail

Calls for tax cuts as job vacancies fall and number of companies going bust doubles

- By John-Paul Ford Rojas Senior Business Reporter

JOB vacancies have fallen for the eighth month in a row and the number of companies going bust has doubled in the latest sign that firms are crying out for a boost from a Budget day tax cut.

Vacancies across the UK fell by 51,000 to 1.1 million in the three months to February, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed. That is still close to record highs but the ONS said the decline ‘reflects uncertaint­y across industries’ and ‘economic pressures’.

Separate figures from the Insolvency Service showed there were 158 compulsory liquidatio­ns last month, more than twice the number in February 0 .

It comes amid warnings that firms face a ‘double whammy’ in April when corporatio­n tax rises to 5 per cent and the super deduction – a generous tax break offered to those investing in factories and machinery – comes to an end.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has shown no sign of wavering on the tax plan. But reports suggest he could be preparing a new policy offering tax breaks for business investment to replace the super deduction. Brian McBride, president of the Confederat­ion of British Industry, said Mr Hunt ‘must act’ to prevent investors being spooked.

The ONS figures showed unemployme­nt remained at just 3.7 per cent in the three months to January, but that pay growth was slowing.

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