British Business Starts To Get The Message

A "windfall profits" tax and other Labor moves provoke fears

A wave of euphoria swept Britain after Prime Minister Tony Blair's May 1 triumph. Business executives did their share of celebrating. Now it's the morning after, and some of them are starting to groan as the new government rolls out its program. The loudest complaints are coming from British Telecommunications PLC, which Labor now says is likely to be hit along with other privatized utilities by a planned "windfall profits" tax of up to $8 billion. On May 15, BT Chairman Iain D.T. Vallance threatened to mount a legal challenge to the tax. "I wouldn't have voted for Labor," he said, if Labor had included a tax on BT in its manifesto.

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