Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the founder, chairman, CEO and majority share holder of INEOS – the vast, privately-owned petrochemicals company that wants to frack North East Derbyshire, including Marsh Lane and Harthill – has announced that he intends to personally relocate to the Mediterranean tax haven of Monaco.
Sir Jim has been a staunch supporter of Brexit and insists that Britain can be successful outside of Europe. But it seems the UK will have to achieve that success without the benefit of taxes from his enormous private wealth, recently estimated at £21 BILLION which makes him the UK’s wealthiest person.
Ratcliffe moved INEOS’ operational HQ out of the UK to Switzerland in 2010, which according to The Times decreased the amount of tax paid by the company by £100M per year. In 2015 Ratcliffe moved part of INEOS’ HQ functions back to London, but the company’s status remains Anglo-Swiss at the time of writing.
Ratcliffe has always portrayed himself as being strongly patriotic. In April this year he announced that INEOS would fund Ben Ainslie’s Americas Cup team in full, to the tune of £110M. However, after declaring they would be named “INEOS Team GB”, he ran into a row with the British Olympics Association which owns the rights to the name “Team GB”. Ratcliffe promptly changed the name to “INEOS Team UK”, which he said he preferred anyway!
In June 2018, Ratcliffe was awarded a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, which he most gratefully received.
However, it would appear he is neither so grateful nor so patriotic as to “give something back” by way of paying his taxes like everyone else.