Might Sir Philip Green regret his report on public sector procurement?

This is fascinating.  The Independent reported that Top Shop in Oxford Street was closed for a while on Friday because of protesters demonstrating against firms who (in their eyes) don't pay their rightful share of tax.  There were further demos around the country on Saturday.  The group leading this initiative, UK Uncut, believes that big business 'owes' £126 billion in tax; getting this paid would be an alternative to public spending cuts.  As well as supporting our theory that 2011 might be a year of increasing civil unrest, as we said here, the Independent also reports:

The group also criticised the coalition Government's decision to seek Sir Philip's advice on efficiency cuts in the Civil Service.

And in an interesting take on the Big Society,

...the campaigners are also launching the Big Society Revenue and Customs - claiming its "army of citizen volunteers" will make wealthy tax avoiders pay.  "David Cameron wants ordinary people in their spare time to carry out vital state-run services that have been cut, so this is exactly what we're doing," Uncut UK spokesman Daniel Garvin said. "If HMRC won't chase down tax avoiders, then we will."

Would Arcadia have been in the firing line if Green hadn't written his recent report on public sector procurement?  Possibly not.  So, while we obviously don't condone this sort of activity, if it makes 'top business people' think twice before writing reports on public sector procurement issues, then some might see that as an unintended but positive outcome ...

Voices (2)

  1. Peter Smith:

    I agree but
    a. HIs report put him in the public eye even more than usual
    b. Some of the demonstrators interviewed did mention this in a “‘why is he advising thegovernment on efiiciency when he….etc etc ” manner.
    So joking aside I do think his report exacerbated the situation for him personally.
    On a different note there is an irony here of course which is in the US they have demos for lower taxes and a smaller state (the Tea Party) while in the UK we have demos in favour of higher taxes and more government!

  2. Alex R:

    Come on Peter, the demos against Arcadia aren’t because P Green wrote a short paper on public sector procurement that was famous for about five minutes and then forgotten, they are 100% because his missus lives in Monaco and gets massive (billion pound-sized) tax free dividends.

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