This Government is managing to turn its failure into a crisis by rewarding those responsible for the current financial situation. At the start the story was the incompetence of Lord Myners, failing to learn that Fred Goodwin's vast pension was discretionary before confirming it. When it was revealed, Government ministers were wheeled out to say that Fred should give the money back. On that principle
Labours Cabinet should give their pension money back as they have all failed us.
Then the Government said they were talking to lawyers about changing the contract long after it has been signed, as though they were above the law. They pretended that public anger was all against Fred, and not with the Labour incompetence in giving him the money in the first place. Even the Tories were taken in by this, leading Tory blogger Ian Dale wrote Does Sir Fred Goodwin Have No Shame? "Sir Fred Goodwin should be shamed into renouncing this pension, and if he has no shame, then Parliament should act to take it away from him." Welcome to New Zimbabwe.
Harriet Harman pledged to strip Sir Fred of his pension; insisting the banker would not keep his early retirement benefits even if his contract was enforceable in a court of law but she was on her own there. Ultimately responsible for the fiasco are Darling and Brown together with their appointees the FSA, who show no sign of remorse.
Labour missed the point that the Government had signed a contract, to try and change it now would bring into question every contract signed by the government. They would look even less competent or trustworthy than they do currently. Sadly all this fuss is a distraction from the billions of bailout money the government is giving to banks with no noticeable effect.
The amount reported as Freds pension has altered over time. At first it was thought to be £650,000, now its £703,000.
And Fred is not the only failure to be rewarded, though he has got huge press.
Clive Briault MD of the FSA quit with £380,000 payoff after Northern Rock debacle
Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier received more than £3 million in pay, pensions and incentives in the last financial year, despite the Post Office loosing millions, shutting 2,500 post offices; tearing the heart out of villages and towns.
Jonathan Ross gets £18 million for 3 years despite his behavior
FSA staff to get bonus of £33 million
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