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Bannatyne blasts airline boss for demanding taxpayer bailout

Duncan Bannatyne

Duncan Bannatyne: ‘billionaires do not need to borrow money’

Scottish tycoon Duncan Bannatyne has blasted an airline boss calling for a taxpayer bailout to save the aviation industry from collapse.

The gym chain owner and former Dragons’ Den panelist says the taxpayer needs to bail out “the poor, the starving, the ill and the disabled”, not billionaire owners of airlines.

His comments came after Peter Norris, chairman of Virgin Atlantic’s majority shareholder, said he will write to the Prime Minister on Monday to warn that the sector needs immediate financial aid to survive.

The airline together with British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair will on Monday announce mass groundings of aircraft and potentially huge redundancies as the COVID-19 crisis escalates.

The government will be asked to provide airlines with a credit facility to help them through a potentially protracted period of negligible revenue.

In a series of tweets whose targets clearly included Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, Mr Bannatyne said: “Why should Uk taxpayer bail out Billionaires? They can do that themselves. Tax payer needs to bail out the poor, the starving, the ill and the disabled that are most effected by this virus.”

He added: “Branson does not need to borrow money from tax payer. He has enough.”

“Billionaires can bail own companies out. Or put them in liquidation where they will be bought by other billionaires that will employ same people.”

One twitter writer said “the budget announced loads of help for small and medium businesses. None for large companies, especially airlines,” Mr Bannatyne replied: “Good”.

Under Mr Norris’s blueprint, it is understood the emergency financing would be repaid once trading returns to more normal levels.

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21 Comments to Bannatyne blasts airline boss for demanding taxpayer bailout

  1. Well done Duncan. Branson (who lives overseas and doesn’t pay full tax) allowed FlyBe to go down yet Virgin is the majority shareholder. Now he wants Britain to bale him out. Does this man have no shame or morals?
    Live here, pay tax here, spend the money that you get here and get a backbone. BEFORE YOU START TELLING US WHAT TO DO FOR YOU.

  2. if corporations are to get money for bailouts, they Issue shares that the government can buy dirt cheap and sell for a hefty profit in the future

  3. Let him and others like him have it but they have to pay back double or three times no questions asked

  4. I totally agree with that that taxpayers should not bail out airlines. It’s ludicrous to contemplate such a thing. It’s the worst form of begging, it makes me shudder. What is the world coming to. I am speechless to comment further.

  5. I think Branson is a disgusting greedy human being. He got away with suing our NHS over his greed he should not get a penny he and the others have more than enough to sort themselves out. Really cant stand this man

  6. Branson doesn`t pay tax in this country does he? In which case he has disqualified himself from help. Not that he needs it!

  7. Branson and his cohorts are hardly buddies of this government……they schemed over Brexit, pumped money into Brexit activists and belittled both the government and country at every turn….my thoughts are, Karma is a bitch!!!

  8. How can this happen? Bail outs were stopped by the likes of Branson for the small airlines and travel companies, what makes them so special?

  9. All they are interested in is the loss of massive profits they all make on the people who keep them afloat – the tax paying public.

  10. Virgin Atlantic will not lose money in this crisis because they are not offering customers a refund on their ‘cancelled flights’ but merely an opportunity to transfer their booking to a flight sometime in the future. They offer this ‘without charge’ however the difference between the old and the new fare must be met by the poor customer! You can guarantee the new prices will be hiked in Virgin’s favour! The customer, who probably would rather cancel a flight to America just now and rebook at leisure when they are more confident of enjoying a holiday in the USA, is stuck in a difficult position while the Virgin bosses bleat about financial support for their company.
    Virgin, give your customers a full refund for their cancelled flights now then ask for help from the government!

  11. How dare Branson ask for this money. He can sell one of his islands ? use his own wealth. He must get lots of interest on his stash. In my opinion world wide travel has inflamed this to happen. 100 yrs ago the flu pandemic ripped through the world. Australia blocked itself off from all in and out borders and protected it from their water surrounded island .We are an island too. We should have done the same. All these viruses, re emergences of long eradicated illnesses are the consequence of people’s urge to travel abroad by sea and air in close contact / re used air conditions.
    So Branson I don’t want any of my contribution to help you . That money should help keep us alive not bail (any) billionaires out Shame on you.

  12. They want staff to take unpaid leave for two months then the Tax payer to bail them out at the same time. All this from a man who sued the NHS, called the public fools for voting to leave the EU etc etc. Put money up to take the Government to court to try and stop leaving the EU. Backed Miller in the courts etc.
    Let them put their hands in their own pocket and keep their hands out of the tax payers pocket.

    • Branson owns more than an airline. Let the other companies bail out the airline. Redeploy the staff instead of laying them off!

    • We should go even further, let the billionaires bail out the people for once. We bailed them out before when they messed up and they repaid us by imposing the malicious con of austerity and now so many of us are left with next to nothing that even those of us who survive the virus may not survive the economic fallout. Payback time.

    • Again the rich will get richer. What should happen is all financial transactions should be suspended for three months or until we are clear of the virus,no water rates no mortgage payments, gas, electric, council tax, car finance, any Bills that the average person has to pay,trading on the stock exchange suspended so no companyloses and others gain. No bail outs needed, the government can then concentrate on financing councils utilities and the likes and then when clear all contracts Bills, etc extended for the period of the shutdown. That way everyone is treated equally.

  13. Totally agree with Duncan. Sadly the Tory government will bail out its friends as they did with the banks. Then the banks repaid the general public by closing branches and remove cashline machines.
    Any bailout should come with legally enforceable conditions.

  14. I have to agree with Duncan, I find it appalling that people who can afford to bail themselves out are asking the taxpayer to do it when they are fighting to survive a possible death sentence. How selfish can some people get, have they not read the news do they not know what’s going on in the world? We the tax payers have made them what they are by paying them to fly us around the world and now when we need help they want to still keep taking money from us. Most of us if self-isolating will not be able to pay out mortgages and lose our homes or pay our bills and possibly lose our jobs, but that’s ok as long as they get the help they need. They can afford to rebuild without our help. Maybe they should be looking to help out the public who made them rich and do something to help in this time of need to people who are a lot worse of than them. I wish people could stop being so selfish and do their best at this time. We should be helping each other to overcome this pandemic not trying to make things worse.

    • The policy of the rich bussiness man is, not to use your own money, but to risk other people’s money, other than your own.

      • I agree with Duncan! Richard Branson doesn’t even live in the uk?
        He lives on his own island,
        (Tax haven) he sued our struggling NHS!!
        And now wants British taxpayers money ?
        To save his empire the mans a disgrace!!
        And I’m sure many many British people dislike him him as I do
        It’s all about him And money!!

    • They have the audacity to call people on benefits. They are where they are at and wealthy because of their friends with benefits!!! Oops sorry our taxpayers money passing in BIG brown envelopes. Scrounging parasites. We should be on the streets!!! Well said Mr B. S

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