Right Said Fred

I have underestimated Sir Fred Goodwin again. His pension is now apparently £703,000 per annum. Moreover, it appears that about half the amount was discretionary. So why did they pay it? The decision was apparently made in the early hours of the morning and the Government were not informed. The Chairman and the Remuneration Committee certainly have some explaining to do, and it would seem quite in order for the British Government, as the largest shareholder, to sue them. It won’t get the money back but it may serve to encourager les autres.

However, compared with the vast sums which the Government itself has squandered, and continues to squander, Sir Fred’s pension is unimportant. Having devised a scheme, the Public Finance Initiative, to rob the taxpayer blind while cooking the Government’s books, the Government is now going to bail out the very companies which made so much money from the scheme in the first place.

If it is right that Sir Fred should be hounded into returning at least some of his pension, it is surely even more appropriate that senior ministers and mandarins be expected to forego at least half their pensions.
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