Victoria Beckham slammed for furloughing 25 staff members shortly after buying £17m mansion
Getty

Applications for the UK government’s job-saving furlough scheme open today.

Under the Job Retention Scheme, employers can claim for a grant that covers up to 80 per cent of their workers' wages (with the intention that the remaining 20 per cent is met by the company, where possible).

But the news that certain UK employers will be furloughing staff has not been met with positive reactions all round.

Like Piers Morgan revealing that Victoria Beckham – net worth reportedly £350m – would be furloughing staff from her VB fashion brand on today’s Good Morning Britain.

He said:

Talking about altruism and generosity, how nice it was to read over the weekend that Victoria Beckham has decided to furlough the thirty of the staff of her failing fashion business - the one that makes no money, that loses money year after year.

The one that's been bailed out until near now by her fabulously rich husband, David Beckham.

But no – Victoria Beckham decided her gift to the nation would be to take tax payer money to furlough her staff. I wonder when the next video of them drinking two grand bottles of wine or boasting about their £17m new home in Miami.

Piers didn’t mention that Beckham was also foregoing her own salary, is only furloughing 25 of her 120 workers and that she’s donating 20 per cent of any profits from the brand to food banks during the crisis.

But that didn’t stop Morgan from further questioning Beckham's appearance during the One World concert in support of the NHS.

And Morgan’s comments certainly riled up viewers.

Some were angry that Beckham is receiving help while those who started their jobs after 28 February are still left at sea by the furlough scheme.

Others said Morgan was “right” in gunning for the Beckhams.

However, a few questioned why he’d picked that particular target.

In fairness, it’s not up to Victoria Beckham where taxpayer money goes – it’s the government who decides whether to fund the NHS or not.

And the Beckhams are among the few wealthy people who actually do pay tax.

Last year they were revealed as one of the UK’s 50 top taxpayers, with a bill of £12.7m.

In comparison, billionaire Virgin boss Richard Branson initially made Virgin Atlantic staff take eight weeks of unpaid leave and then told them to claim sick pay.

He also called for a £500m government bailout of the aviation industry, despite being worth £4.2bn and residing in a British Virgin Islands “tax haven

Branson has also been accused of “fragmenting” UK healthcare after his private Virgin healthcare group was revealed not to have paid any corporation tax while being paid £2bn on NHS and local authority deals.

Let's keep the same energy for everyone, eh Piers?

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)