Time to end this culture of obscene rewards for failure

From: Barrie Frost, Watson’s Lane, Reighton, Filey.

WHEN a person gives away some of their own money, especially if they have only a small amount, it shows great compassion and love but it is still very hard for them and a sacrifice.

When, however, someone gives away other people’s money it is not hard at all, it is extremely easy; in fact anyone can give away unlimited amounts of other people’s money.

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When George Entwistle, the director-general of the BBC, recently resigned, Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, decided he would give him a full year’s salary of £450,000 – double the amount agreed in his contract. In addition, George Entwistle was paid £45,000 in perks and legal fees and will, it is reported, receive an annual pension of £82,000. The licence fees of 3,400 people were required to fund his pay-offs alone and all this money was given after he was only in office for 54 days. Of course, Lord Patten did not find giving away this money difficult as it wasn’t his money and would not cause him any hardship.

But all of this expenditure surely should, or rather could, not occur, could it? How many times are the general public lectured and told that if people of real talent and supreme ability are to be obtained, huge pay rewards must be offered? Well, George Entwistle was receiving huge pay rewards, being paid more than double that of the Prime Minister, so this should rule out any possibility of him being a failure, or is this logic totally flawed and merely an excuse used by the so-called elite to trouser obscene pay?

But why did his contract even include a payment of six months salary (£225,000) if he resigned? Surely, if a person resigns – described as doing ‘the honourable thing’ – he should not be entitled to any payment as it was his own decision.

If I had resigned my employment I would simply have had to work the agreed notice before moving elsewhere – no cash, no perks, nothing! This must ask the question just who agrees such contact clauses in the first place and if the person is paid such obscene amounts why did they even anticipate failure and include such terms in the contract?

And let’s not forget that the case of George Entwistle is not an isolated example of the double standards that seems to be endemic in Britain today. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Laws, resigned this office in 2010 after only 17 days as a Cabinet minister for claiming expenses of £40,000 against parliamentary rules but, surprise, surprise, he is now welcomed back into government. Note the amount – not a couple of hundred pounds but a staggering £40,000. Can you imagine an employee who behaved in a similar manner being welcomed back by his former employer at any time, never mind after only two years?

Doesn’t this clearly show disgraceful double standards by people who should be setting an example; so-called ‘right honourable’ people who are totally out of touch.

Britain’s people are renowned for ‘pulling together’ when times are hard but it is very clear they are fighting an unequal fight. When I hear claims that we are all in this together, I have to ensure the sick bucket is very handy.