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Thread: Billionaire TopShop owner Sir Philip Green tries to take taxpayer money to pay staff

  1. #1
    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    Feb 2009

    Default Billionaire TopShop owner Sir Philip Green tries to take taxpayer money to pay staff

    'Sell one of your two yachts!': Outrage as billionaire Sir Philip Green asks for taxpayer help to pay emergency wages to 14,500 workers he has furloughed

    • Twitter users called on disgraced businessman to sell one of his two yachts
    • Arcadia is owned by Sir Philip's wife, Tina, who is based in tax-free Monaco
    • Move has now landed UK taxpayers with a huge bill worth millions of pounds
    • Taxpayer will now pay 80% of each worker's salary up to £2,500 per month
    • Other controversies have seen calls for Sir Philip to be stripped of knighthood

    PUBLISHED: 10:45, 3 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:06, 3 April 2020

    Sir Philip Green provoked outrage today as he demanded emergency taxpayer help to pay the wages of 14,500 workers he has furloughed during the coronavirus lockdown.
    Furious Twitter users suggested the disgraced businessman should sell one of his two yachts, which include the £122m Lionheart, £63.5m Lioness V and £9.3m Lionchase, or use some of his estimated £1.8billion fortune rather than relying solely on the taxpayer.
    Struggling Arcadia is owned by Sir Philip's wife, Tina, whose residency in Monaco means she does not pay UK tax on profits including the £1.2bn dividend she famously banked in 2005 in one of the biggest pay checks in British history.
    The taxpayer now faces a huge bill to cover wages for all Arcadia store staff of up to £2,500 per month, prompting one Twitter user to rage: 'Tell him to sell off one of his yachts. That will bring him in a bob or two. The tight-fisted chancer.'
    Other household businesses that are furloughing staff include McDonalds, British Airways and Primark. It comes as the number of UK coronavirus deaths reached 2,921 as the country remains in lockdown with the economy at a standstill.


    Sir Philip and his wife Tina enjoying the sun while on holiday in Monaco, where she is a resident


    The enormous yacht Lionheart (seen off Italy) is the pride of Sir Philip's collection


    Sir Philip owns another yacht called the Lionchase, which is seen here during an excursion


    The Lioness V near Nice in France on May 22, 2016. The French city is a popular destination for the global super-rich

    Twitter users today claimed Sir Philip should contribute some of his own money to paying his staff during the coronavirus outbreak

    Arcadia's CEO Ian Grabiner confirmed yesterday that all 14,000 out of its 16,000 staff had been furloughed, with online operations continuing and head office staff continuing to work until April 5.
    Mr Grabiner said he would not receive a salary or any benefits until further notice, adding: 'We look forward to opening our store doors again as soon as it is safe to do so and welcoming back our colleagues and customers.'
    Nonetheless, Sir Philip's bid for taxpayer help sparked anger on social media today, with one Twitter user writing: 'There are brass necks and then there's Philip Green...'

    Tearlach Wilson said: 'Turning out to be the same as after the financial crash where the wealthy escaped having to endure 10 years of austerity while the lesser paid suffered from it, the same less paid the country are now relying during this virus hell.'
    Others pointed out that while Universal Credit applications were being refused for people with more than £16,000 in savings the same rule did not apply for billionaires like Sir Philip.


    Sir Philip has three yachts, including the Lionheart (pictured) which is thought to cost around £122m


    Twitter users asked 'has he tried selling his yacht?' after it emerged he was asking for taxpayer help

    John Spiers said: 'Billionaire Philip Green asks government to pay 14,500 employees out of emergency wage scheme. WTF?
    'Normal people are being told they can't get government support until they've 'used up their savings' ... how about he uses up his billion pounds?'
    Sir Philip suspends payments to Arcadia's pension scheme

    Sir Philip Green's retail empire Arcadia is suspending payments to its pension scheme as it desperately tries to cling on to cash in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
    Arcadia will halt the £2m per month contributions which were agreed last summer in a deal designed to reduce the shortfall in the pension scheme.
    The deal saw Sir Philip's wife Lady Tina Green, who technically owns Arcadia, agree to plug the gap in the scheme by also making her own £25m per year contributions. She will continue to make those payments despite the coronavirus crisis.
    But pensions expert John Ralfe, who advised MPs investigating the collapse of Green's former chain BHS, has called on Lady Tina to use her own wealth to cover the sums Arcadia is holding back.
    He said: 'Given Lady Tina's significant net worth, the Pensions Regulator must ensure that coronavirus is not an excuse for the Arcadia pension scheme to be short-changed.'
    Ralfe estimates that if Arcadia were to go bust, the current shortfall in its pension scheme would be around £350m to £400m.

    Another wrote: 'Philip Green asks for taxpayer support to prop up #Arcadia . Nah. State Benefits are means tested, right? Claimants need to spend their savings before they get anything. Sell some assets like your boat.'
    And a third noted: 'People have to use up their savings before they get benefits. The mega-rich should have to use up their 'savings' before their companies receive Government help.'
    Sir Philip has faced repeated calls to lose his knighthood over his involvement in a string of controversies.
    Last year, a member of the House of Lords claimed the businessman had 'hundreds' of grievance claims against him, including that he grabbed women's breasts and slapped their bottoms.
    The allegations were revealed by Lord Hain, who last year used the cloak of parliamentary privilege to identify the Topshop boss as the person behind a legal injunction preventing the Daily Telegraph from publishing allegations of sexual harassment and racial abuse.
    The claims, which Sir Philip 'categorically and wholly denied', included allegations that the retail tycoon dragged a woman around in a headlock and smashed a male employee's mobile phone.
    It was also claimed that he mocked a male employee's dreadlocks and referred to him 'throwing spears in the jungle'.
    Sir Philip also faced allegations that he groped a female executive, paying her more than £1million to stay quiet.
    The news comes despite some Topshop employees saying two weeks' ago that they had been laid off after all 300 stores were closed before the government announced its furloughing scheme.
    Arcadia Group was experiencing financial troubles even before coronavirus hit, with the company forced to close 23 stores at a loss of hundreds of jobs.
    Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge branches were among those earmarked for closure, as well as the company's Outfit, Wallis and Evans stores.
    The restructure was the result of seven Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) put in place by Arcadia, which are designed to keep struggling businesses from going into administration.

    I have some famous friends and I have mostly not famous friends.

  2. #2
    Elite Member sprynkles's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    At the salon


    Didn't Lady Gaga's father try the same sort of scheme? He set up a Go Fund Me to pay his employees.
    DawnM74 likes this.

  3. #3
    Elite Member Nevan's Avatar
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    Jul 2008


    I hope he falls overboard on one of his yachts and drowns. I've had enough of this bullshit with the 1%-ers.
    "Please, I can't breathe."

    We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    He's such a twat
    Kittylady and DawnM74 like this.

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