CityAm, the freesheet newspaper in London, has this cracking scoop:
Shire Pharmaceuticals, the FTSE 100 drugs giant that focuses on treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is to re-register its head office outside the UK for tax reasons.
The group, which is valued at around £5bn, has been consulting the accounting group PriceWaterhouseCoopers on the merits of a move and is set to inform investors today. Shire’s headquarters are currently near Basingstoke. The news will come as a further blow to the UK economy.
The story ends with a quote from Matthew Elliott, head of the lobby group, The TaxPayers’ Alliance:
“This disastrous news confirms that Britain’s competitiveness has suffered a series of blows from misguided tax hikes.”
I am glad to see that the influence of CityAm’s newly-appointed editor, Allister Heath, who has written on the flat-tax issue in the past for the Taxpayer’s Alliance and at the now-defunct weekly, The Business, is making itself felt. Far too many journalists at places such as the FT, for instance, seem to operate in a corporatist cocoon. Allister will not make that mistake.