Good News for Britain from Ineos

Ineos is one of those largely British industrial success stories rarely heard of by the British public (or even most of the British government).

Instead of the miserly 1% of fracking revenues offered by the UK Oil and Gas Producers’ Association (UK OOG), Ineos will offer 4% to the owners of land where Ineos bores wells (most owners own the rights anyway) and 2% to the communities within a 39 square mile area of a 200 well cluster. Over a 30 year period, Ineos expects these payments to exceed £2.5 billion which will not only make some owners very well off, but ensure opposition to this vital development is minimal. Good News indeed.

Ineos founded by and 75% owned by Jim Ratcliffe, chemical engineer, has acquired much of ICI’s petro-chemicals operations in North West and North East England and Scotland, and basic polymers (PVC, polythene, polypropylene) from ICI, BP, Borealis in Norway and Unichem in Belgium, and much else in the chemical industry. In the 1990s these processes and products became deeply unpopular with most of the financial institutions. As a result of ignoring this fashionable view, Ineos is now the second or third largest chemicals company by turnover in the world, with over £2 million per employee per annum – possibly the highest of any major company in any industry anywhere, vastly exceeding the figures under their previous owners.

Although largely built up in Britain from former ICI and BP plants, and originally domiciled here, a request denied by the Treasury to postpone VAT payments for 3 months in 2012, prompted Ineos to move its tax domicile to Zug in Switzerland. As a result Britain loses Ineos’s profits taxes for ever. Hardly support for Britain’s embattled taxpayers and the government’s much-vaunted industrial “policy” (but does the Treasury believe in it anyway?)

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