And the rich shall inherit the government spending problems…

August 16, 2010Post by Laura Humphreys

I read in today’s DominonPost about UK Billionaire Sir Philip Green being enlisted to lead a ‘no holds barred examination of departmental budgets’ in England. Green is a billionaire retailer who’s empire includes names such as BHS, Topshop, Miss Selfridge to name but a few. He’s known for his ‘brutally effective commercial reforms’ and he’s going to lead a team that will scrutinize British government expeniture from the past three years with a view to identifying where savings can be made.

There is kind of a fun irony in the appointment for what seems like an austerity drive being a man who moved to tax haven Monaco and paid a $1.2 billion dividend from his company to his wife who was able receive it tax free as an official resident of Monaco. He also has a $30m yacht, a $20m private jet and spent $5 million on his 50th birthday party. If you’ve got it, flaunt it… I guess.

But that aside, I think the concept of putting a mega successful business person in charge of a government budget review is excellent. With the economies of so many countries now in such a desperate state, we are in a war against billowing debt. And who better to fight this war than the world’s richest business people… surely they know a thing or two about creating a healthy bottom line. As long as John Key doesn’t call upon Terry Serepisos, the idea has merit. What do you think?