Billionaire Brexiteer Sir Jim Ratcliffe to relocate to Monaco in bid to ‘save £4bn in tax’

‘I’m amazed as this is a super-rich person. We’re not talking about someone who is on his uppers’

Eleanor Busby
Sunday 17 February 2019 20:50
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John McDonnell on Jim Ratcliffe: 'Just make your contribution like the rest of us'

The shadow chancellor said he was “disappointed” with reports that prominent Brexiteer and Britain’s wealthiest man, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, is relocating to Monaco in a bid to save up to £4bn in tax.

John McDonnell has urged the “super-rich” in the UK to make their contribution "like the rest of us”.

His comments came after The Sunday Times reported that Sir Jim, founder of the chemicals giant Ineos, was working on a plan to avoid tax.

The plan could also benefit two of the company’s other top executives depriving the Treasury of between £400m and £4bn in tax revenue, the paper reported.

“I’m amazed as this is a super-rich person. We’re not talking about someone who is on his uppers or something like that," said on BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show. “For every penny that is avoided in this way in taxation, what does it mean? It means actually the NHS doesn’t treat patients as well as they could, it means our children don’t get the full investment in their education and it means less safety on our streets.”

It was reported last August that Sir Jim, who has an estimated fortune of £21bn, had decided to leave the UK and live in Monaco. Senior executives Andy Currie and John Reece were to join him.

Motivations for their relocation had not been made clear, but now The Sunday Times claims that the three of them plan to legally share between £1bn and £10bn tax-free.

It reports that Sir Jim has been working with international accountancy firm PwC on the tax avoidance plan.

It is understood that PwC has consulted its public interest body over whether it should refuse to help or drop the Ineos account over potential damage to its reputation.

The news comes after Brexit supporter Sir James Dyson announced that he was moving the headquarters of his company to Singapore ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU.

Sir Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, described Sir Jim's planning as “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.

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

Ineos has been approached for a comment by The Independent and PwC has refused to comment.

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