What can Darling do about the Â£650k pa outrage?
The big talking point on many of the radio phone-ins today has been the mammoth pension of Â£650,000 a year that the ex-RBS boss is due to get for the rest of his life. Listen in – there’s a lot of anger and fury out there and who can blame people.
This comes on the day that the Royal Bank of Scotland posted a Â£24bn loss – the biggest in British corporate history – and the news that Mr. Darling is to “request” that the ex-chief executive, Sir Fred Goodwin, “forgoes” at least some of the cash.
Goodwin, who is only 50, stepped down from the job last October as part of the government’s rescue and was the man in charge when when many of the key decisions were taken.
Why wasn’t the pension raised during the bail-out discussions last October? Could one of the conditions of pumping billions of tax-payers’ money into the firm be that such agreements had to be stopped?
Clearly there are big legal problems with Fred having an entitlement to such a massive sum each year. But the fact that Darling can only ask makes him and the government look weak.
No doubt there are good answers to all of this but if Fred sits tight then the embarrassment to Brown will be enormous.
The cartoon, as ever is by Marf. More of her work can be found at LondonSketchbook.com.
Later today on PB: I’m in London this evening for the launch of Nick Cohen’s new book “Waiting for the Etonians” and probably won’t be able to post or moderate. I am expecting a new YouGov poll this evening and I will get a thread up as soon as I can.