Business leader Paul Heathcote has said Britain’s tax system is not working to support the economy.
The restaurateur, who owns the Olive Press and Heathcote’s Brasserie on Winckley Square, Preston, said he believed more tax breaks should be offered to encourage people to invest in industries.
In his weekly column in the Lancashire Evening Post’s lepbusinessweek supplement, he said the current system would continue to drive wealthy people into tax avoidance schemes.
He was speaking after a high-profile case involving comedian Jimmy Carr saw him forced to apologise for investing his money in the Channel Islands.
Mr Heathcote said: “A few years ago I looked into the possibility of investing in the UK film industry due to generous tax breaks offered.
“I didn’t take up the offer in the end, but would it be terrible thing for someone to be incentivised to invest in an industry requiring such support? “If we had a tax system which offered, for example, the opportunity to get a tax break on investing in a start-up business for five years, we might get over the massive problem of access to finance in this country.
“Instead, we have a system which encourages wealthy people – whether they are comedians or captains of industry – to look at going into these schemes.”
Read Paul Heathcote’s column every week in Tuesday’s Lancashire Evening Post.