Fury as Philip Green asks for tax payer help to pay wages for 14,500 workers – The Sun

MILLIONAIRE Sir Philip Green has come under fire for using taxpayer money to cover the wages of 14,500 employees, with critics saying he should sell his yacht instead.

The disgraced retail magnate is temporarily laying off 14,500 employees, most of them shop workers.

These staff, who work under Arcadia's Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Outfit, Topman, Topshop, and Wallis brands, will get most of their wages covered by the government.

That's because its coronavirus job retention scheme pays 80 per cent of furloughed workers' salaries, up to £2,500 a month.

Staff had criticised Philip Green when stores closed last month due to the coronavirus outbreak as they didn't know if they would be paid in the meantime.

And now some have said Philip Green should use his private wealth – or even his yacht – to pay for wages.

According to The Sunday Times Rich List in 2019, Mr Green's private wealth totalled £950million, down from £1.05billion the previous year.

It's unclear if Mr Green still owns one or more yachts, but last summer he was pictured playing table tennis with footballer Christian Ronaldo on his £120million 300ft super yacht called "Lionheart".

It follows similar calls for Richard Branson to flog his private island after forcing Virgin Atlantic staff to take eight weeks unpaid leave.

One person tweeted: "Can't Philip Green sell his yacht and a home before asking the government to bail him out?

"Other people aren't entitled to Universal Credit with more than £16,000 in savings."

Another said: @Topshop… suggestion for Sir Philip Green… sell your fu^^ing super yacht.

"Or use some of the cash you stole from former BHS employees pensions. Show some decency for once in your life!"

Another added: "So they [the Green's] base themselves in tax-free Monaco, but want British taxpayers to bail their company out? Jesus. What a joke. Sell your yacht."

Someone else wrote: "Surely he can sell a yacht or give back the pension money or something!

Another said: "And on par with the greedy footballer twats Philip Green wants taxpayers to stump up cash, surprise surprise, try selling a super yacht first dude."

And someone else tweeted: "I doubt Philip Green could sell a yacht at the moment but why doesn't he offer them as floating quarantine stations if he wants taxpayer help with his business?"

Arcadia says its board and senior leadership team will take a salary reduction of between 25 per cent and 50 per cent as a result of the epidemic, while group chief executive, Ian Grabiner, has elected to receive no salary or benefits until further notice.

It declined to comment on whether Philip Green could use his own wealth to pay wages.

Today's news is the latest in a string of controversies faced by Philip Green including being accused of groping numerous staff and other women, and running former business BHS into the ground.

Mr Green sold the high street chain for just £1 before it went bust leaving no cash to pay staff pensions.

It led to former MP Frank Field calling for him to be stripped of his knighthood.

Only last year Mr Green's retail empire was saved from the brink of collapse after his wife agreed to bail him out of financial woes.

The move saw Arcadia shut 48 stores and axe 1,000 jobs.

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