Big money entrepreneurs set to jump ship?

departuresdublin.jpgA new week, a new attack on the government. This time it’s former Pizza Express and Punch Taverns boss Hugh Osmond, delivering the blows.He’s so disgruntled at the current UK tax system he’s thinking of relocating his financial services group Pearl Assurance overseas.He says he’s already put plans in motion to move some of Pearl’s investment funds offshore and could also transfer its head office to a lower-tax locations, such as Dublin or Geneva.Osmond, who is worth a reported £350m, says he’ll be off too unless the government reviews its tax policies.“Serial entrepreneurialism is the best wealth-creator you can get. If you are an entrepreneur, you can be anywhere... Everyone in our office, everyone I speak to, is considering it,” he told The Times.Osmond’s outburst comes on the back of a series of business sales last month which saw several entrepreneurs cash in ahead of the controversial rise in capital gains tax, while new charges on non-doms prompted several high-net individuals such as Doug Richard to threaten to leave the UK.It’s not just entrepreneurs and investors, either. Yesterday drinks giant Diageo was forced to deny a strong City rumour it was planning to relocate to Dublin, while Shell, Investco and Experian have all revealed plans to take advantage of Ireland’s lower corporation tax.Osmond’s closing words were ominous: "Any entrepreneur who has made more than ten million quid is looking at leaving.”Ouch. Not what Messrs. Brown and Darling will have wanted to hear, especially when they’re getting it in the neck over taxing the UK’s lowest earners.It’s a no brainer we need to keep our best talent and wealthiest investors but could it be a case that high net indviduals simply had it too good for too long? After all, capital gains was 40% under the Tories and their present regime is hardly queing up to offer tax cuts.Alternatively, regardless of the wealth they’ve created should the super rich stay loyal to countries where they developed their fortunes? And will a surge of tax hurdling blue chips and investors simply lead to a unified European tax system unlikely to benefit anyone?Questions, questions, questions and it’s only a Monday!Image: Flickr

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