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UK misses out on top billionaire rankings

HIGH taxes and red tape are preventing Britain from breeding globally successful entrepreneurs, according to a think-tank.

Analysis by the Centre for Policy Studies found the UK is not even ranked among the top 10 countries for producing billionaire entrepreneurs.

In a newspaper article, the report's author, Dr Nima Sanandaji, urged the Government to cut capital gains tax and scrap the top 45p tax rate. He also criticised Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith for suggesting the Coalition's welfare reforms were encouraging more people to start successful businesses.

Last week Mr Duncan Smith hailed Britain's "entrepreneurial spirit" after the Bank of England highlighted figures showing a record 4.5 million people are self-employed.

But Dr Sanandaji wrote: "The Work and Pensions Secretary was conflating self-employment with entrepreneurship. In reality, the two phenomena are quite different.

"The Coalition's benefit reforms may well promote self-employment, which is a good thing in itself. But it is wrong to suppose that reducing benefits will do much for entrepreneurship.

"In order to do that, the Coalition should turn its attention to cutting business and personal tax rates and taking the axe to red tape."

According to Dr Sanandji's analysis, Britain produced one entrepreneur for every two million people. By contrast Hong Kong produced almost three entrepreneurs for every million, Israel 1.7 per million and the US 1.3 per million.

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