Lack of understanding about the impact of taxes and bureaucracy on business is one the major concerns expressed by the UK packaging manufacturing and machinery sectors.

Nothing much new there then. This current government came to power with, amongst many other things, the promise of a reduction of ‘red tape’, and other business friendly policies.

Seven years later and the country has more civil servants and labyrinth-like laws and regulations than it has ever known before. Combine this with the outpourings of the EU and it is no wonder industry feels besieged.

Back-door taxation – most notably through increased employers national insurance contributions – further adds to the burden of running a business.

Already 59% of respondents to the survey reported on this page do not think the UK is a good place to invest in – a figure which is not going to improve unless attitudes in Westminster and Whitehall change.

Unfortunately it is difficult to detect any movement from the government on the plight of the manufactiring sector.

Indeed, on the tax front current predictions are that Chancellor Gordon Brown will need to rustle-up a few more billion pounds over the coming years to avoid an embarrasing deficit come election time.

Let’s hope Michael Howard does have something of the Knight about him. Like the damsel in distress, we could all do with rescuing.

Gerry Duggin