Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Guy Hands threatens to leave UK, crowds weep in the streets

According to the Pink 'Un, Terra Firma head honcho Guy Hands has warned that his business may at least partially relocate overseas.

“We are concerned by the recent changes to the UK tax laws,” says Mr Hands, the first buy-out boss to warn he may flee the country since the government started fiscally targeting rich private equity executives last year.

“Recent developments in UK policy may well drive global firms and highly skilled individuals away from London at significant cost to the UK economy in terms of lost revenues and lost taxes,” Mr Hands says.


Unfortunately the FT (in my view) falls for the self-serving guff and goes on to worry about the significance of his comments.

However, it is ominous that the warning comes from Terra Firma, a UK-based firm, run by a British citizen, employing 100 staff and owning some of the UK’s best-known companies, such as music group EMI and cinema chain Odeon UCI.

As I have argued before, I think maybe it is time that we called the industry's bluff on this one. Let's see what a big difference it makes if a handful of private equity execs move to Switzerland. As should be clear to anyone with an open mind, the impact of the industry on jobs is not clear, and there is evidence to suggest that overall it is negative. Therefore it could have a positive (though small) effect on employment ;-)

5 comments:

Charlie Marks said...

See the thing about this is: if they're so important to us, why don't they demand *no* tax and that the government pays them to stay?

Tom P said...

Actually there was a good bit by Martin Wolf in the FT recently where he said the logic of the argument against Darling's move on non-dom taxation was that you shouldn't tax rich people. And he's hardly a lefty!

Charlie Marks said...

Maybe they call it the pink 'un for another reason...? ;-)

Tom P said...

Actually I do think it's left of centre

Charlie Marks said...

I'd have to agree there, its a good source of news on what New Labour's getting up to with regards privatising public services and that...