Ritchie on Sir Philip

He revisits a greatest hit

I couldn’t have put it better. I would have corrected the figure for tax saved. It was £285 million, and I know because I was the person who calculated it and presented the number on air for the Money Programme.

But there is more to it than that. First of all, let’s put Green’s side of this. He said “no tax was avoided because none was due”. An interesting argument from a retailer but which means I hope in future he does not mention the word ‘save’ when promoting his regular sales because there will be no saving over the original price during such events since that original price is not due during the sale and, therefore the comparison cannot be made. Which just shows how disengenuous is his argument about tax saving because it is obviously contrary to current usage of English.

Or perhaps a greatest con.

The dividend went to Lady Green. Who is not resident nor domiciled in the UK. We do not charge income tax to people who are not resident nor domiciled in the UK.

Thus no tax was avoided nor saved.

18 thoughts on “Ritchie on Sir Philip”

  1. “I would have corrected the figure for tax saved. It was £285 million, and I know because I was the person who calculated it”

    A proud boast from Mr Murphy. What complex calculations were involved? What deep understanding of UK tax must have been required?

    I mean, it’s not like you could have taken the published dividend figure of £1.14bn and then taken 25% of it to work out the higher rate tax liability at the time, as would a junior wonk in any tax department of the smallest accountancy firm.

    The BBC sure got their money’s worth with whatever they paid him for his vast insight and knowledge.

  2. It’s because Ritchie hates women who are more successful than he is, something that his fellow SJWs need reminding of.

    Exhibit 1:
    “How can a young woman possibly understand it like me”

    Exhibit 2:

    Exhibit 3:

    He approved that comment from the Pilgrim Slight Return communist.

    Exhibit 4;
    The post Tim referenced, where a woman must not own a business because she employs her husband to run it for her.

  3. I see that Rob Bryant (who I know quite well) has taken Murphy to task as by Murphy’s OWN definition this was not tax avoidance.

    As usual, Murphy flails around in response.

  4. It’s amusing to see that Ritchie is still wrong, as always: he claims MPs have voted to strip Green of his knighthood, which is utterly untrue – there was no vote, just a series of antisemitic speeches.

  5. Slightly OT, but comments welcome. ISTM that Green(K, his wife) took dividends while BHS was profitable and while the pension fund was in equilibrium. He also made investments in BHS during his period.

    However, the business began to fail. But were normal pension payments not paid in this period? ISTM more likely that the increasing deficit in the pension fund was caused by poor investment returns and huge drop in interest rates, not by Green “taking money” from the fund or pensioners, or even not making payments into the fund.

    Is there evidence that Green disregarded the advice given for contributions to the fund? He was given a forward plan to restore the fund to equilibrium. To require it to be done in a couple of years would have stuffed the company anyway.

    Lastly, surely it would have been more profitable for Green to have a profitable BHS to sell, rather than giving it away for £1? “Asset stripping” which he is accused of, only works if the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, which isn’t exactly the case.

    I’m happy to be corrected!

  6. @Nautical Nick – Pension deficits are a rather complex area. A calculation is needed of potential future liabilities set against possible pension fund size at the time those liabilities will be payable.

    Future pension fund size has to be estimated using pretty conservative calculations. Actual growth could be much higher. That’s why, when the economy was booming, so many pension funds were in surplus.

    As a crude example, if it was estimated that you would need £1,000 growing at 3% a year to have a pot of £1,125 in 5 years time to pay a pension liability and instead the fund grew at 10% a year, you’d have a huge surplus in 5 years time.

    BUT if suddenly you had to cut your growth forecast in year 2 because interest rates had dropped to 1%, then your pension fund in year 2 (of £1,030) you’d be running around in circles screaming that there was a massive pension deficit because you’d need a pension pot of about £1,075 to get to that £1,125 in 4 years’ time.

    And if you ran around screaming that the £45 shortfall was all because of evil spivs then no-one in the media would challenge you.

    And it might actually be the case that the fund grows at 5% and there is no shortfall in reality.

    But you can still scream at spivs in year 2

  7. Andrew C

    This is a gem:

    ‘You clearly see the world in a way that I don’t

    And candidly, I think you know you’re fabricating this’

  8. Nautical Nick>

    You’re not missing anything. This is so nakedly an anti-Semitic fabrication that they might as well come right out and call him Sir Stinky Jewboy while they’re at it.

    Not a single word of the criticism aimed at Green is justified. Not one. Don’t forget that BHS was about to go under when the Greens bought it, it’s only thanks to them that it survived this long.

    “Lastly, surely it would have been more profitable for Green to have a profitable BHS to sell, rather than giving it away for £1?”

    Of course. But once the thing was going under, he tried to do what BMW did with Rover when they sold it to the Phoenix Consortium: pay someone else to take the flak. There should have been some value left to extract as the reward for taking the flak.

  9. There are two reasons that Green should have his knighthood removed. (i) It was awarded while Toni Blair was PM. All Blair gongs should be removed. (ii) It was awarded for doing his job: “services to retail” indeed. Balls to that: gongs should be for something outside or beyond your job.

    Instead it’ll be removed because he’s become unpopular, and is widely seen as a greasy spiv. Next thing you know people will want Keith Vazeline ejected from the Commons: where will it all end?

  10. “Martin

    Once a business is seen to be going under there are legal responsibilities by the directors.”

    There are legal responsibilities on directors ALL the time.

    Did you have anything in particular in mind?

  11. Andrew C – was thinking of the one whereby directors have to maximise creditor interests.
    Various options can be utilised, have to wonder if this sale by Sir Phillip was a pre-pack administration sale.

  12. “Well, there go all the military awards for bravery.”

    Military awards are not gongs, like knighthoods. And military bravery awards are for performance beyond the call of duty.

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Military awards are not gongs, like knighthoods. And military bravery awards are for performance beyond the call of duty.”

    Yep. And in my day anyone awarded something like an MBE really did earn it for doing something outside their job that meant sacrificing time and energy. I hope that hasn’t changed.

  14. Bloke in north dorset – when was that day? I can think of a number over the years who did their job. That’s it.

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