There is of course an answer to the problem of private equity. The UK would not be fleeced by this form of asset stripping if it were not possible for a UK company to offset all interest paid against its profits, whatever the reason for it being incurred and wherever the funds are used and to wherever they are paid.
Put simply, this absurdly generous relief has to change. Interest paid for the purpose of the trade of the business (but not acquiring it) should be capable of offset for UK corporation tax purposes. If this were to happen the UK corporation tax take would increase significantly and the focus of the UK economy would change for the better.
Will Gordon Brown be willing to do this? I hope so. But I doubt it. Which is an astonishing thing to say when even partners in Big 4 firms have privately expressed their support for this move to me.
But I'm delighted to see that for once the unions are on the case.