Cameron's 'own goal' enrages Lib Dems
Mon, 16 Aug 2010 08:10:09 GMT
David Cameron's appointment of the billionaire Sir Philip Green as the man to lead the Whitehall spending review has outraged the liberal democrats who promised a crackdown on the rich in their election campaign.
Senior party figures said trusting Green with the fate of the underpaid public sector workers before spending cuts are announced in the autumn is paradoxical considering the billionaire's luxurious life style and his shady tax record.
Alongside an extravagant personal life where he is rumored to have spent £5 million for a single birthday party, Green has attracted criticism for running his company Arcadia under the ownership of his wife who is a Monaco resident, dodging millions of pounds of tax obligations.
The Lib Dem Business Secretary, Vince Cable, who was not consulted about Green's appointment, implied his uneasiness with the decision on Saturday saying "we want people to pay their share of tax".
Also Andrew George, the Lib Dem MP for St Ives described the move as a “public relations own goal by David Cameron”
“ Philip Green is better qualified to advise the Treasury on stamping out tax avoidance […]One could avoid unnecessary public sector cuts if we ensured those who should be were paying tax" he said.
According to Richard Murphy, the director of Tax Research UK, Green has evaded some £285m in tax through letting his wife take £1.2 billion of the company's income out of the reach of tax collectors' harm.