News, Culture & Society

Billionaire Brexiteer Sir James Ratcliffe ‘relocates to Monaco in a bid to save £4bn in tax’

A prominent Brexiteer and Britain’s richest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is set to quit the United Kingdom in a bid to save billions in tax, it has been reported. 

The 66-year-old, who was knighted less than a year ago for his services to business and investment, is reportedly planning to save up to £4bn with a move to Monaco.

The country – famous for its yacht-lined harbour, upscale casinos and the prestigious Grand Prix motor race – is a well-known tax haven.

And Ratcliffe has been working with PwC on a tax avoidance plan, which could also benefit two senior executives at his chemicals company Ineos.

That’s according to The Sunday Times, which has claimed that Ratcliffe, Andy Currie and John Reece cold all legally share between £1bn and £10bn of tax-free cash.

Should the plan go ahead, it could deprive the Treasury of between £400m and £4bn – a move which a source at the newspaper labelled ‘egregious’, should the upper end be chosen. 

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who was knighted less than a year ago for his services to business and investment, is reportedly planning to save up to £4bn with a move to Monaco

Ratcliffe's chemical company Ineos, which has an annual turnover of around £45billion, employs more than 18,500 people

Ratcliffe’s chemical company Ineos, which has an annual turnover of around £45billion, employs more than 18,500 people

The news comes soon after Ratcliffe slammed the EU over expensive regulations and ‘stupid’ green taxes he claims are choking Europe’s chemicals industry.

In an open letter to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, Ratcliffe warned Europe is ‘no longer competitive’ as a result of its strict energy and labour laws, which he claims are the most expensive in the world. 

Sir Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, and a staunch remainer, has slammed Ratcliffe’s alleged decision – labelling it ‘deeply cynical’. 

He told The Sunday Times: ‘There are thousands of our constituents who are being bankrupted by HM Revenue & Customs action over small-scale tax avoidance while big fish like Ratcliffe are just treating taxation as purely voluntary.’ 

Another source did tell the newspaper, however, that the chemicals company giant may opt for the lower end of the tax avoidance range. 

Sir Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, and a staunch remainer, has slammed Ratcliffe's alleged decision - labelling it 'deeply cynical'

Sir Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, and a staunch remainer, has slammed Ratcliffe’s alleged decision – labelling it ‘deeply cynical’

But this has done little to appease John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, who said: ‘The greed of these super-rich tax avoiders seems to have no bounds.

‘Don’t they realise that every penny they hide away in their tax havens is a penny not spent on our NHS treating the sick, or social care looking after our lonely, isolated elderly, or the education of our children?’     

Ratcliffe’s chemical company Ineos, which has an annual turnover of around £45billion, employs more than 18,500 people.

Its products are used to clean water, make toothpaste, manufacture antibiotics, insulate homes and package food.

The company has previously benefited from government help, receiving a £230m loan in 2014 to build a new facility to import shale gas. 

This latest news comes soon after Sir James Dyson, another vocal Brexiteer, announced he was planning to relocate the Dyson head office from the UK to Singapore.

Sir James Dyson, another vocal Brexiteer, recently announced he was planning to relocate the Dyson head office from the UK to Singapore

Sir James Dyson, another vocal Brexiteer, recently announced he was planning to relocate the Dyson head office from the UK to Singapore

The bombshell announcement will mean Dyson is no longer a British registered company and Singapore will become its main tax base. 

It is the second blow Dyson has dealt to Brexit Britain after last year’s announcement that it will manufacturer its new electric cars in Singapore, rather than the UK. 

Remain supporters lashed Sir James, 71, for ‘staggering hypocrisy’ and warned it was ‘damning for the Government’. 

And it comes amid mounting concern that a no deal Brexit could be disastrous for British manufacturing – particularly in the motor industry. 

Sir Jim, 65, a joiner’s son who grew up in a council house, currently owns 60 per cent of Ineos – a spokesman for which told The Sunday Times it had 400 companies in 35 jurisdictions paying dividends on a regular basis.    

His wealth increased from £15.3billion to in 2017, partly because of a revaluation of assets including property and two super-yachts.

His net worth is thought to be around £21.05 billion.

While PwC, addressing concerns over the tax avoidance plan, said it had found ‘no reason to terminate its relationship with Ineos’. 

One of the most flamboyant ‘toys’ in Sir Jim’s personal empire is his superyacht which features its own wine cellar, tennis court, football pitch and helipad.

He spent his earliest years until the age of ten in a council house on Dunkerley Avenue in Failsworth, a small town between Manchester and Oldham.

Sir Jim, who is the son of a joiner, grew up in a council house, now owns 60 per cent of Ineos and is thought to worth around £21.05 billion

Sir Jim, who is the son of a joiner, grew up in a council house, now owns 60 per cent of Ineos and is thought to worth around £21.05 billion

His father was a joiner, his mother had an office job working in accounts.  

At ten years old, Sir Jim moved with his family to Yorkshire, and he went to Beverley Grammar School and lived in Hull up to the age of 18.

The Brexiteer got a 2:1 in chemical engineering from the University of Birmingham in 1974 and, after for working for BP in the summer holidays, was offered a permanent job – only to be sacked within three days.  

He eventually got a job with Courtaulds, the Coventry-based fabric and chemical manufacturer where he stayed into his mid-30s before moving into venture capital.

It was only in 1998 that he founded Ineos, which has an annual turnover of £45billion and employs more than 18,500 people at 181 sites across 22 countries.

Its products are used to clean water, make toothpaste, manufacture antibiotics, insulate homes and package food. 

Sir Jim has made expeditions to the North and South Poles, as well as a three-month-long motorbike trek in South Africa.

The billionaire also founded a charity Go Run for Fun, encouraging thousands of children aged between five and ten, to get active by creating celebrity-driven events.

He has two sons with his first wife and a daughter with his second, reportedly having homes in Chelsea and Hampshire. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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