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17th Feb 2019

Britain’s richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe to leave UK to ‘avoid £4bn in tax’

Kyle Picknell

He’s a prominent Brexiteer

Britain’s wealthiest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is planning to leave the UK  to save four billion pounds in tax, according to The Sunday Times.

Ratcliffe, who was knighted less than a year ago, is now looking to move his home and businesses to Monaco in an attempt to reduce his tax bill and has enlisted international accountancy firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) to help him.

He serves as chairman and chief executive officer of the Ineos chemicals group, which he founded in 1998. According to reports he would legally share with his senior executives Andy Currie and John Reece between £1 billion and £10 billion tax-free.

The plan would leave the Treasury short of between £400 million and £4 billion per year and has been described by a source as ‘egregious’.

Ratcliffe was named as the UK’s richest person in 2018 with a net worth of £21 billion.

John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor, said of the news: “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?”

Meanwhile Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable 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.

“The idea that we should be dishing out knighthoods to people who have no commitment to this country is rather shameful.”