As UK ponders more action...
Bannatyne blasts airline boss for demanding taxpayer bailout
Duncan Bannatyne: ‘billionaires do not need to borrow money’
Scottish tycoon Duncan Bannatyne has blasted an airline boss calling for a £7.5 billion 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.