Chancellor Gordon Brown this week outlined plans to improve competition and productivity in British industry.
Setting out the measures, which are to be spelled out in a green paper later in the year, Brown said that there would be a new capital gains tax regime that would be "more favourable that that of the USA".

He also promised to crack down on price fixing by introducing a white paper next month that reforms competition law. These plans will included a proposal to jail those convicted of operating cartels.

In a recent cartel case the European Commission accused British materials firm BPB of fixing the price of plasterboard as part of a cartel with three other European companies.

Michael Ankers, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, welcomed the announcement.

He said: "There was some concern after the election that improving public sector services might take precedence and the need to make businesses better might take second place."

Brown also announced a shake-up of the planning system, predicted in Building last week.