The collapse of BHS has a bitter ring to it. It would seem that noted tax dodger Philip Greed Green, who sold the company for £1 just a few months ago, left a massive hole in the companies pension fund. Keep in mind that with the firm now in administration, if its liquidated (which seems likely), it is the UK taxpayer who will bailout the BHS pension fund.
How the pension fund could be so depleted isn’t clear. Keep in mind, that even in November Phil Greed Green was reporting profits for his firm were up, although he predicted “tough trading conditions ahead”. BHS itself did make a loss in 2015, but it it is still difficult to believe the company could slide under so quickly, with him declaring a profit for the holding company year on year (i.e. taking money out…which he would not have paid any tax on). And now there’s a £571 million hole in the pension fund.
It does unfortunately look like he and the other shareholders ran BHS into the ground, bled it dry, didn’t even bother to pay tax on any of these profits and have now dumped the whole sorry mess on the UK tax payers. I would note that a common tactic of organised crime was to do just this, buy up a business, run it into the ground (e.g. buying up stock on credit, selling it for cash out the back door, leaving the debt on the company books), then burn it down for the insurance money. The Kray twins pulled this trick all the time. The only difference is, they didn’t quite think big enough. Its all eerily similar to the banking crisis, leading one to question, has anything really changed?
And where’s the government in all this? Are they investigating Green’s Greed tax affairs? Looking into this dodgy pension deal? You’re joking right! No Cameron saw fit to hire Phil Greed Green to advise the government on ways Whitehall departments could save money. That’s like hiring the Hatton Garden robbers as advisers in bank security.
Needless to say this raises serious questions about Cameron and Osborne’s judgement, not to mention their commitment to dealing with tax avoidance. As it would appear that they favour welfare for billionaire non-doms, yet for taxpayers or those on welfare, its cuts galore, more austerity and more pain.