Sir Philip Green under attack over personal tax affairs
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Central Government
Sir Philip Green: Government efficiency review uncovers 'staggering' waste of money
Government spending reviewer Sir Philip Green came under attack in the Commons tonight over his personal tax affairs.
The retail magnate published a damning indictment of the "inefficiency and waste" of Whitehall today.
But shadow Treasury chief secretary Angela Eagle questioned the message that Sir Philip's appointment sent out.
She said Liberal Democrat Cabinet ministers Business Secretary Vince Cable and Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne had both expressed reservations about the appointment.
Another Lib Dem, Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander described tax avoidance and tax evasion as "morally indefensible in times like these", she said.
She asked "what the signal on tax collection this Government is intending to send actually is" following Sir Philip's appointment.
She said: "His own tax arrangements include paying a £1.2 billion dividend to his wife, who just happens to be domiciled in Monaco for tax purposes.
"While this isn't illegal, the Business Secretary has gone on record saying he is unhappy about it, the Energy Secretary has said that it sends the wrong message."
She asked Treasury Economic Secretary Justine Greening: "Can you let us know how this example squares with the Chief Secretary's grand pronouncement that both tax evasion and tax avoidance are immoral in times like these?"
In his report Sir Philip, the owner of Topshop and Bhs, told ministers they could save hundreds of millions of pounds by cutting swathes of waste from spending on everything from coffee and hire cars to mobile phones and computers.