NEW POLL: How do you solve a problem like Sir Fred?

The debate has raged all over the weekend about what exactly the Government should do (if anything) about the £650,000 per year pension to which Sir Fred Goodwin, former chief executive of RBS, is entitled thanks to a deal struck with the bank’s board and later sanctioned by the government when it became a majority owner.

Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman provoked a media storm when she suggested that the government might introduce legislation specifically to claw back a large part of Sir Fred’s pension. Meanwhile, Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable has put forward his own proposal: that Sir Fred simply be paid £27,000 a year, the maximum available to employees of bankrupt companies under the Pension Protection Fund.

Over to LDV’s readers to try and answer the question: How do you think the issue of Sir Fred Goodwin’s £650,000 a year RBS pension should be resolved?

Here are your options:

>> The government should legislate to claw back a large part of Sir Fred’s pension
>> The government should instruct that Sir Fred be paid a minimum amount, and he should sue if he wants his full entitlement.
>> The government should abide by the agreement entered into between Sir Fred and RBS and sanctioned by its own business minister.
>> Don’t know / Other

Let debate re-commence …

PS: seemed rather pointless to poll the question, “Do you think Sir Fred is entitled to his £650,000 a year RBS pension?” I’m guessing a majority would probably say ‘No’. But if anyone does want to advance that particular line, do feel free to mount the write-in campaign below.

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10 Comments

  • A difficult one to phrase into a poll, and I think Stephen’s done a good job of it.

    I don’t see how Vince’s suggestion can be any more legal than the government “legislating” to get some of it back.

    Rightly or wrongly, the man has a valid contract.

  • Liberal Neil 2nd Mar '09 - 6:44pm

    I’m not qualified to know whether or not there is any legal route to not pay the full pension. If there is it should be used.

    It does not seem right to me that the Government should threaten to change the law just to get at one individual when it is primarily down to their own misguided policies and downright incompetance that he has got this pension in the first place.

  • Can we have an option that says ‘The Government should stop trying to distract us from their own incompetence with this massive white elephant and call an election so we can finally get rid of them for pissing all over the global economy.’?

    or ‘The Government should acknowledge the massive hypocrisy of blaming bankers entirely for the financial crisis and attacking their pensions without taking a look at their own role in the global financial system and offering up their own pensions for sacrifice to the court of public opinion.’

    I could go on…and on and on…

  • “Do you think Sir Fred is entitled to his £650,000 a year RBS pension?”

    Entitled yes, deserves no.

  • He certainly doesn’t deserve it, but it’s Labour’s incompetence (just for a change) that’s gifted it to him. Why wasn’t he simply sacked when the errors he made came to light – it’d have made for an entertaining industrial tribunal!

  • It really has to be the third option, but with a hearty “and don’t ever sanction such an obviously ridiculous pension again” tacked on the end.

  • David Evans 5th Mar '09 - 2:27pm

    I would be perfectly happy for Fred to keep his pension; but only if it was totally funded out of Gordon Brown’s Parlaimentary entitlement!

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