BHS collapse: Sir Philip Green called to answer questions before MPs

Sir Philip is reported to have offered £80 million towards the BHS pension deficit of £571 million

Hazel Sheffield@hazelsheffield
Tuesday 26 April 2016 15:58
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Sir Philip Green owned BHS for 15 years
Sir Philip Green owned BHS for 15 years

Sir Philip Green will be called to answer questions in front of MPs about the collapse of BHS.

Frank Field MP, who chairs the Work and Pensions Committee, has said that Sir Philip will be "invited to give evidence" before MPs about the BHS pension scheme, which is running a £571 million deficit.

Mr Field said that the committee will “look at the Pension Protection Fund and how the receipt of pension liabilities of BHS will impact on the increases in the levy that will now be placed on all other eligible employers to finance the scheme".

"We will then need to judge whether the law is strong enough to protect future pensioners' contracts in occupational schemes," he said.

Sir Philip is reported to have offered £80 million towards the cost of BHS pensions.

The shadow business leader Angela Eagle said he was looking after himself by leaving others to make up the deficit.

“If the worst happens the liability will be covered by the pensions protection scheme and BHS staff will get only 90 per cent of the pension they've worked so hard for and saved for. But Philip Green seems to have got much more out of BHS for himself and his family than that,“ Ms Eagle said.

MPs rounded on Sir Philip in the House of Commons on Monday. Tory MP Richard Fuller accused Sir Philip of being a Judas by “betraying” employees and pensioners, while his Tory colleague Mark Field called for an urgent inquiry into his conduct.

Iain Wright, Labour chairman of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, said: “It cannot possibly be right that Sir Philip Green, as the previous owner of the company, loaded it up with debt, did not invest in the business and paid his wife over £400 million in dividends via the tax haven of Monaco.”

BHS went into administration on April 25, putting 11,000 jobs at risk and threatening the future of 164 UK stores.

Administrators will now look at salvaging value from the business in talks with suppliers, employees and other interested parties, although it is unlikely to find a new buyer.

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