Gerald Ronson: 'Social unrest in a two-tier Britain'

By Jessica Elgot, April 14, 2010
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Gerald Ronson: Don't drive entrepeneurs from the city.

Gerald Ronson: Don't drive entrepeneurs from the city.

Jewish businessman Gerald Ronson has warned of “social unrest” if the problems of a “two tier Britain” are not tackled.

The Chief Executive of Heron International also called on the next government not to target entrepreneurs with heavy taxation and constraints which could drive them out of the country.

Speaking at the “topping out” ceremony for the Heron Tower, a skyscraper his company has developed, Mr Ronson spoke of his concern about the growing divide between the city and the rest of the country.

He said: “I spend 12 hours, once a week, driving around the country. I don’t like what I see. We are creating a two-tier country where I fear that the consequential effects of significant unemployment will be social unrest.”

Mr Ronson also spoke of his concerns that the government might seek to further punish the country’s financial sector via taxation.

He said: “My advice, to whoever wins the next Election, is be careful not to put too much pressure on the people who can make a difference.”

He said that the next government needed to tread carefully with financial regulation, when so much of the country is dependent on the work of the city of London.

He added: “Entrepreneurs should not be the targets. Entrepreneurship needs to be encouraged - not penalised and driven out of the country.

“We have to be careful because it wouldn’t take a lot for us to slip back into recession and that’s before the effect of inflation on the economy. Most of us remember when the Government printed money to get it out of trouble – simple logic says that at some time, in the medium term, it has to happen again.

The Heron Tower has officially been declared the tallest building in the city of London after the topping out ceremony.

Last updated: 11:33am, April 14 2010