Sir Philip Green has answered critics of his new role as government spending czar.
Since Green’s appointment was announced last week the Arcadia Group boss has been lambasted because his family lives outside of the UK in Monaco and do not pay UK tax.
Green said that he does spend most of his time in the UK and has paid between £300m and £400m in taxes over the last five years.
“I’m a UK taxpayer. I work here every week. We employ 45,000 people in the UK and we have got a £500m payroll,” he said.
In an article written for the Mail on Sunday he said: “I am not naïve; I knew my appointment would cause a fuss but the only real question is whether or not I am qualified to do the job. That, in the end, is the only judgement that counts.”
Green said that he and his executive team at Arcadia, including chief executive Ian Grabina, went to Downing Street and met with chancellor George Osborne and felt there was a lot they could do to help. He said that they have nine weeks to gather information before the spending review on October 20.
Green said: “I just want to get on with the job. I’m doing this because I want to. And I’m certainly not asking to be paid.”