Disregarding all the other matters on which it is apparent that this Labour government are totally clueless, the one big subject is that of pensions. What is it about pensions and Labour that just do not go together - well other than the first one requires a brain to understand, something lacking in the second. We have had the 10p tax increase fiasco, the public sector pensions scandal with the latest addition to the taxpayer's liability of £6billion Royal Mail pension 'brown hole' and now we have the small matter of Sir Fred Goodwind's £650,000 annual pension.
If true it is incredible that the Government never questioned Goodwin's pension arrangements when the deal was struck whereby his early retirement secured the original bail-out. We are now told by Gordon Brown that he will use the law to 'claw-back' some of this pension - so having thrown the taxpayer's money about bailing out banks, he now intends using more of the same trying to break what presumably is a legally constituted pension arrangement and one, no doubt, of which he knew the details.
Quoted in the Times, Alistair Darling told Radio 4 “I think people will find it very difficult to understand how you can get paid £650,000 a year for the rest of your life when just look at the state that RBS is in at the moment,” and “You cannot justify these excesses, especially when you’ve got such a failure of this magnitude.”
In which case it is also pertinent to ask a similar question of Gordon Brown viz-a-viz his stewardship of the economy and his pension for life as an MP and ex-prime minister.
Update: A legal viewpoint on the possibility of such a 'claw-back' as mentioned above. Either way two factors means it would not be cheap - (a) lawyers are involved and (b) so is Gordon Brown!
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