BREXITEER James Dyson is the genius who built a multibillion-pound indus- trial empire on a humble but revolutionary new vacuum cleaner.
He is among Britain’s biggest employers, a huge personal taxpayer and arguably the greatest business success story in recent memory.
In short, Sir James knows his onions.
So when a figure of his stature warns a Tory government that its “stupid and shortsighted” tax policies might drive him out of the country, ministers should stop and listen to him.
Not Jeremy Hunt, it seems.
This Chancellor is bent on using next week’s Budget to hammer the very firms — like Dyson — which form the life- blood of the British economy.
He will hike corporation tax by a huge 32 per cent . . . having recently campaigned for a CUT during his doomed battle to succeed Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.
Back then he believed: “When it comes to corporation tax, I would love to reduce it. In the long run, I think we do get more money.
“Corporation tax is the tax that defines whether we are a pro-enterprise economy.
“We are to be higher than Japan, America, France or Germany. I want to cut it from 19 to 15 per cent.”
Today he wants to raise it to 25 per cent — a move blamed by drugs giant AstraZeneca last month for ditching its new £320million UK plant and building in low-tax Ireland instead.
Sir James, one of the few boardroom tycoons to openly campaign for Brexit, is furious.
Today, in a scathing letter shared exclusively with The Sun, he opens a separate second front in the war on taxes, challenging Rishi Sunak’s vow to lead the world into a controversial 15 per cent global minimum tax (GMT).
GMT would be levied globally on companies such as Google and Meta, then shared out among countries where the firms operate.
His promise as Chancellor, now looks like an albatross around the PM’s neck.
Dyson fumes: “The Government has done nothing but pile tax upon tax on to British companies. When businesses are seeking to rebuild following the global pandemic, combat the impact of the lockdown in China and the war in Ukraine, and absorb soaring energy costs and double-digit inflation, the Government’s contribution is to increase taxes.
“Is it any wonder the economy is teetering on recession, or that companies like AstraZeneca are deciding to take their investment elsewhere?”
Sir James makes it clear he might follow the drugs giant out of the door.
Doomed to fail
“Dyson has offices in 33 different jurisdictions across the globe but invests heavily in the UK and employs 3,500 people here,” he writes.
“You can be sure all those numbers will reduce as a result of this measure, which amounts to yet another tax grab by governments on the basis that they know best how to create wealth.”
GMT was dreamed up to snare tax-dodging IT giants such as Amazon.
But it hands tax-raising powers to outside agencies beyond the control of elected governments — exactly what Brexit was supposed to stop.
Worse, it is doomed to fail unless every major economy joins in.
Yet America looks set to boycott the plan.
Japan and other countries are lukewarm.
Tax experts fear dictatorships such as China will simply twist the rules to suit themselves.
“Early adoption of the GMT is an extraordinary position for the Government to adopt,” storms Sir James.
“GMT transfers tax sovereignty from the UK to the OECD, limiting our ability to determine our own policies — deeply ironic after the country has just fought to rid itself of another unelected body, the EU.
“The UK will be left lagging behind the sharper practice of many of its competitors.
“A glance at the appalling wastage and inefficiency in the public sector shows that this is simply a race to the bottom.”
The Treasury last night insisted that it must balance the books after spending £400billion on Covid.
Reversing the corporation tax rise would cost £18billion.
But a spokesman for Dyson pointed out: “Sir James is not asking for a tax cut.
“He is simply asking for it not to rise.”