Fred the Shred’s pension labelled outrageous’ by Times readers

PUBLISHED: 16:13 04 March 2009 | UPDATED: 15:42 16 August 2010

PENSIONERS have been left fuming at the £693,000-a-year pension handed to a banking boss who oversaw the crippled Royal Bank of Scotland. Pensioners in Sidcup and Bromley branded the massive payout to Sir Fred Goodwin as outrageous and said he should p

PENSIONERS have been left fuming at the £693,000-a-year pension handed to a banking boss who oversaw the crippled Royal Bank of Scotland.

Pensioners in Sidcup and Bromley branded the massive payout to Sir Fred Goodwin as "outrageous" and said he should pay it back to the bank that was bailed out with £37 billion rescue package of taxpayers money.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown last week threatened legal action in an attempt to cut the pension to Goodwin, nicknamed 'Fred The Shred' under whose leadership the bank collected record losses leading it being 70 per cent nationalised.

Ellen Coulton, 82, of Vanbrugh Park Estate, Blackheath, said it was outrageous that she was "worlds apart" from the failed banking chief.

Drawing a weekly pension of £150, some £13,300 a week less than Sir Goodwin, the former legal secretary's gets around using the 386 bus, whereas Sir Goodwin was known for using a Falcon jet.

Rather than taking up Sir Goodwin's hobby of collecting classic cars, Mrs Coulton's pastime is taking minutes at the National Pensioners' Conventions.

The widowed pensioner said: "I find it outrageous. It's immoral, obscene. Scores of people die each year because they're so cold in their own homes.

"If I'd lost money at work I'd have been sacked."

Terry Murphy, the 68-year-old chair of Bexley Pensioners Forum, said: "If you visited the shopping centres in Bexley or Bromley this winter, you would see pensioners sitting on benches doing nothing just to stay warm because they couldn't afford their gas bills.

"I think it's wrong this Fred should get our money while some of my members can't afford shoes. He should give at least two thirds of it back."

On his blog, Bexley and Bromley London Assembly member James Cleverly said: "Goodwin's pension makes me angry, particularly because so many others have had their own pensions damaged by the failures at RBS.

"Harriet Harman is trying desperately to divert attention away from the fact that the Government had the chance to curtail Goodwin's pension and failed to do so. They simply screwed up.

"Fighting words are pretty useless now."

But John Flunder, a retired negotiator for the Banking, Insurance and Finance Union, said Mr Goodwin should keep his 'astronomical' payout.

The 79-year-old, of Oaklands Road, Bexleyheath, said: "I think he is a chancer and doesn't deserve it, but if it is given to him legally, then it's the Government's fault and they shouldn't snatch it back.

"When you negotiate a contract like that you must make sure to the point of being a nuisance that you have checked everything.

"If I were him I would stick two fingers up to the government and move abroad with that beautiful £600,000 a year."

What you had to say...

DAVID Wood, 33, MacDonland's worker, of Crombie Road, Sidcup, said: "I've never tried to imagine spending that much money a week before. If he never saw it coming, then it's not really his fault, but I still don't think he should get that much. Times are hard at the moment, everyone else is struggling."

PAUL Cook, 27, property maintenance company director, of Joydens Wood, Bexley, (with son Zach, aged three) said: "It's disgusting considering there is a lot of poverty and people are in trouble financially. He should never have been given it in the first place."

ANNE Burls, 69, manager of the Sidcup Pop-in Parlour, of Christchurch Road, Sidcup, said: "If anyone else's company collapsed they wouldn't get a private pension, but he will get that for the rest of his life. I don't think he feels anything. If he did he would give it back."

ALISON Shaw, 31, retail manager, of Alder Road, Sidcup said: "The big bosses shouldn't be sitting pretty. We bail the bank out and characters like him live in luxury. I think the money should go back to the taxpayers and his employees."

WARREN McCrae, 45, builder, of Dillwyn Close, Sydenham, said: "It's not right, is it - too many big bonuses are given out.

"It's happening all the time. Something could be done about it and the government should do something about it.

"They should stop bankers getting big bonuses."

HANNAH Wilson, 25, mother-of-three and carer, of Blackfen Parade, Blackfen, said: "What's he going to do with all that money when a lot of people are struggling to get by? It's ridiculous. I don't think anyone needs that much money - I can't imagine how I'd spend it.

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