CUT TAX BURDEN TO HELP THE UK MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY
11th January 2016
Cut tax burden to make British industry great again, says billionaire Ineos boss
Britain should reduce the tax burden on struggling manufacturers to stem the "catastrophic" decline of UK industry, one of country's biggest bosses has warned.
Writing in The Telegraph, Jim Ratcliffe, boss of chemical empire Ineos, called on the Conservatives to introduce a single-digit rate of taxation for lagging manufacturers in a last-ditch attempt to save British industry from terminal decline.
Despite describing the current Government as one of the most pro-manufacturing in years, Mr Ratcliffe said not enough was being done to prevent "the slow death of manufacturing."
Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show Britain's export industries continue to struggle, with exports falling to their lowest level sinceJune.
Britain has bled halve of its total manufacturing capacity in one generation and industry now accounts for less than 10pc of the economy, said Mr Ratcliffe.
He described the decline of Britain's traditional industries as "a catastrophe in slow motion in many parts of the north of England, Wales and Scotland, as quality employment prospects either degrade or disappear".
Mr Ratcliffe said the UK had fallen behind its European rivals - such as manufacturing powerhouse Germany - due to its failure to attract investment, develop a skilled workforce and provide cheap energy.
"To maintain, or grow manufacturing, one needs a constant stream of investment as plants grow old and products grow old. New plants and new products need investment".
Creating an attractive tax regime for investment was crucial to kickstart companies, said Mr Ratcliffe.
The Conservative government slashed the rate of corporation tax to 20p last year, but Mr Ratcliffe now called for special tax incentives for manufacturers.
"Taxes are improving in the UK but they are not highly differentiated. And on top of that we have green taxes and apprenticeship levies to pay", said Mr Ratcliffe.
Chemicals giant Ineos is one of the UK's biggest private companies. Billionaire Mr Ratcliffe recently agreed a £489m a deal to buy up North Sea oil and gas fields which provide energy to heat 1 in 10 British homes.
He said that despite the North Sea's dwindling oil reserves, Britain was "sitting on huge shale gas deposits which could change everything".
"Interestingly, in the 18th and 19th centuries Britain built its wealth on its coal reserves but there were no Nimbys then", he said.
Mr Ratcliffe said Ineos has chosen to invest heavily in the United States, while other firms were overlooking the UK in favour of the Far East.
He also called on unions emulate German labour relations in a bid to improve the attractiveness of Britain as a home of investment for foreign companies.
Share this article on social media: