Home Money Leading industrialist Sir Jim Ratcliffe blames high taxes for ‘killing’ businesses

Leading industrialist Sir Jim Ratcliffe blames high taxes for ‘killing’ businesses

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Have your say: Sir Jim Ratcliffe
  • Sir Jim attacks Tories’ economic strategy
  • The country “needs to be a little sharper” in business matters
  • Billionaire says heavy taxes will ‘kill’ oil and gas companies

Have your say: Sir Jim Ratcliffe

A leading British industrialist has warned that the country’s manufacturing industry is lagging behind that of Germany due to uncompetitive government taxes.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s fourth-richest man, attacked the Conservatives’ economic strategy and said the country “needs to be a bit smarter” about business.

The billionaire, who runs the Ineos petrochemicals empire, claimed heavy taxes would “kill” oil and gas companies while companies would prosper elsewhere.

Manufacturing “has unfortunately been declining over the last 25 years,” the Manchester United co-owner told Sky News. While the UK was “very similar in scale” to Germany at the turn of the century, today it is “only a fraction” of its European rival.

The North has been especially hard hit by this lack of growth, Ratcliffe said.

He added: “That refers to things like energy competitiveness, it refers to things like, why is there an immensely high tax imposed on the North Sea?”

“This simply discourages people from looking for hydrocarbons in the North Sea, in the energy sector.”

He then said Britain “wants to crack down on oil and gas companies” with a 75 percent tax.

By comparison, the United States pays a corporate tax of around 30 percent.

A windfall tax will be imposed on North Sea oil and gas profits in 2022 due to rising energy prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ratcliffe’s comments echo those of other industry figures this month, with the chairman of a major producer, Serica Energy, accusing ministers of a “race to the bottom”.

“UK policy will boost oil and gas investment overseas, taking jobs, tax revenue and energy security with it,” said David Latin.

The manufacturing industry employs around 2.6 million people in the UK and contributes £224 billion in output, according to Make UK.

But there have been concerns that the UK will be left out, as big names have turned elsewhere to invest in new factories.

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