Sir Philip Green criticised for pursuing taxpayer cash to furlough staff

Sir Philip Green topshop topman arcadia furlough monaco
Some Arcadia staff had gone back to work after the reopening of 631 stores, while others remained furloughed
// Arcadia owner Sir Philip Green has been criticised for taking millions of taxpayers’ cash to furlough staff
// Arcadia furloughed 14,500 staff in April under Rishi Sunak’s coronavirus job retention scheme

Sir Philip Green has reportedly come under fire for continuing to take millions of taxpayers’ money to furlough Arcadia Group workers.

Arcadia, which owns retailers Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Topshop, Evans and Burton, furloughed 14,500 staff in April under the coronavirus job retention scheme.

Some staff had gone back to work after the reopening of 631 stores, while others remained furloughed, The Sunday Times reported.


The criticisms came after Green was spotted in Monaco this week browsing multi-million pound luxury yachts.

His decision to keep using the scheme – which pays 80 per cent of wages – is in stark contrast to other retailers who have refunded HMRC after deciding that they no longer need the financial assistance.

Boohoo is one of those companies returning furlough money.

The online retailer’s owner Mahmud Kamani said one should give back “especially when you’re doing OK”.

Critics have questioned how much Green needed to rely on taxpayers’ money to keep his business afloat.

He has lived in the tax haven of Monaco since 1998 and has a fortune of £930 million according to The Sunday Times Rich List.

Former Labour MP Frank Fields, who criticised Green when BHS collapsed in 2016 after he sold it, said Green seems to be “replaying the past”.

Green has previously faced calls to have his knighthood scrapped after a series of controversies.

Arcadia was struggling prior to the coronavirus crisis, since recording an operating loss of £138 million on turnover of £1.8 billion in 2018.

Last year, Arcadia carried out CVAs in an effort to cut rents and close underperforming shops.

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