Mr Cable doesn’t curb high pay in the public sector


            It is a strange paradox. Mr Cable dislikes high private sector executive pay, and wishes to get shareholders to curb it. Yet Mr Cable is one of  a select few who decides the pay of RBS executives, a loss making state owned bank. He does nothing to curb that.


  1. lifelogic
    September 19, 2011

    A loss making, loan grabbing back, recession causing, job destroying bank with a solvency that makes its bonds very expensive indeed to insure against default. “Depositors and borrowers beware” should perhaps be the motto above all the bank doors – what is that in Latin I wonder?

    1. norman
      September 19, 2011

      Maybe the other ancient language, Greek, would be more fitting for the motto?

    2. Disaffected
      September 19, 2011

      Nor does Mr Cable seek to address the corruption at Westminster nor bring politicians on an even keel with those they are penalising. Why is Alexander creating 2,000 new tax collector posts when he should be cutting the public sector as he and his government pledged.

      When are the welfare lifer numbers to be cut, the true leeches and parasites of society? When is stupid spending on the EU, overseas aid, bailing out countries going to stop. Why should ordinary hard working people have their standard of living cut by incompetent politicians?

  2. Single Acts
    September 19, 2011

    Wow, the news that Vince Cable is logically inconsistent…. shocker!

    1. Peter Campbell
      September 19, 2011

      No come on, Big Vince is entirely consistent with his hard line, unreconstructed socialist views. History shows that socialists always favour a massive, bloated, overpaid and authoritarian public sector. This is paid for by theft from the productive private sector who do not deserve to be well paid because they are just private sector proles who should be grateful that people like Vince are there to run their lives and interfere with every aspect of an economy they know nothing about. Sadly this Conservative leadership is too weak to defy the Lib Dems and we are saddled with them despite almost nobody voting for them.

    2. lifelogic
      September 19, 2011

      It does however amuse me each time they put Vince on television with the words “Vince Cable – Business Secretary” underneath. Satire at its best.

      Shareholders do however need better mechanisms control of top pay so that directors cannot help or vote themselves vast sums of shareholders funds/pay/options while delivering little or even losses to shareholders.

      Just as voters need better mechanisms to control MPs and MEPs properly.

      It is the risk takers that deserve the rewards in the main.

  3. Mike Stallard
    September 19, 2011

    Compared with some of the other Lib-Dem high flyers, Mr Cable is a saint.

    1. Single Acts
      September 19, 2011

      I understand Mr Cable has a blemish-free driving record and so does his wife.

      Other Lib-Dems are however, very good at getting their points across.

  4. matthu
    September 19, 2011

    Cable would do better to focus on new laws against writing contractual terms binding the public sector to make huge payoffs to quango and public sector contractors and employees.

    1. lifelogic
      September 19, 2011

      In fact just get rid of all payoffs above say 1 months pay for both private and public sectors. Or perhaps just tax them at 100% which would have the same effect.

  5. alan jutson
    September 19, 2011

    Double standards, well there is a surprise.

    Cable may talk a lot, but actions speak louder than words.

    What has he actually achieved ?

  6. Electro-Kevin
    September 19, 2011

    I expect that I shall look like Vince Cable when I reach his age.

  7. Nick
    September 19, 2011

    I notice his latest weeze is more regulation.

    Mind you, he did do something about regulation on Belgium liqueur chocolates. That’s a major success he can crow about.

    Someone should whip him into order.

  8. oldtimer
    September 19, 2011

    Your blog post about RBS executive pay was put to Mr Cable live on BBC Breakfast this am. It had the remarkable effect of quadrupling his blink rate! Obviously it struck home. His mumbled excuse was that terms were set by the previous government.

    In a wider context, it seems it will all be left to shareholders to decide. I thought that was their role today. In the end there a contract is signed between employer and employee, and that is that.

    1. lifelogic
      September 19, 2011

      Shareholder control is just too weak. Directors often get away with day light robbery.

  9. James Reade
    September 19, 2011

    That’s really quite lame from a politician who claims to understand economics. Do we want the best workers in that particular field working for the public sector owned back, in order to maximise the chance the taxpayer gets a good return? If so, then not curbing pay given no other banks show any signs of doing so it the right thing to do – basic economics would tell you that.

    And a politician calling another inconsistent? Pot calling kettle? From the Conservative minister who believes in getting rid of red tape, freeing the markets, yet at the same time proposes the complete socialisation of the labour market via tight immigration rules. Now there’s a paradox – and again, from a minister who claims to understand economics.

    Economics (via public choice theory) also has an explanation for this however – you’re not motivated by propounding a sound understanding of the economy and how it works – you’re motivated to be re-elected…

  10. Brian Tomkinson
    September 19, 2011

    All the country’s economic problems seem to be caused by the well paid if you listen to the rhetoric of Cable and the LibDems. I thought they didn’t support discrimination against minority groups. These people are out of their depth and if they have as much influence as they claim, the future prospects for us all are indeed bleak.

  11. outsider
    September 19, 2011

    You make a great point Mr Redwood.

    Mr Cable’s idea of giving more power to shareholders is in any case ludicrous because “shareholders” are actually City fund managers who are paid on the same you-get-what-you-pay-for basis.

    There is, however, one way in which some real bite could be put into the decisions. Scrap the lower SME rate of corporation tax and replace it with a similar “social rate” for companies that do not pay anyone more than, say, 20 times average earnings. Shareholders would then have a straight choice between high pay and low tax. Then let the market decide.

  12. Mark
    September 19, 2011

    How do we get to curb the pay of quangocrats? We can’t even vote them out of office.

  13. Graham Swift
    September 19, 2011

    Perhaps the people should follow the examples of Egypt and Libya. I’ve little confidence in our present leaders. John Redwood is one of a handful of politicians who talks on sense and is living in the real world.

  14. stred
    September 19, 2011

    I previously suggested that an unfair contracts act would prevent so called ‘top people’ in the civil service and quangos from writing themselves outrageous pay and exit contracts.
    This could also apply to top private directors from bleeding their badly run companies dry. As posted above, the proposal to strengthen shareholders rights on pay would be laughed at by the highly paid fund managers and headhunting agencies who partake in the same merry-go-round.

  15. Elliot Kane
    September 19, 2011

    Not to mention being on a basic rate of pay of £145,000 a year himself with extremely generous expenses and the possibility of outside earnings. Don’t see him doing much about that, either. I wonder why…

  16. uanime5
    September 19, 2011

    The pay for RBS executives is set at market rate. If the Government pay these bankers less they’ll complain that they’ll have to go to other banks/countries, economists will predict that this will cause another recession somehow, and the Tories will claim that the Lib Dems are anti-business and harming the private sector.

  17. Ian
    September 20, 2011

    Do RBS audits cover amounts set aside for covert spending, that is, slush funds to buy corporate favours from powerful people, regarding the investigation of pay packages, bonuses and so on? Perhaps Mr Cable could tell us if this is the case, and if it would be possible to obtain evidence of offshore transfers from such funds, if indeed they exist.

    Reply: The auditors have to check all spending and systems, and have given RBS a clean bill of health. That means there are no “slush funds” used for illegal or dubious purposes.

  18. stred
    September 20, 2011

    Preumably, the auditors were among the mega 4 accountants- who pay their own partners vast amounts and regularly lobby and dine with their opposite numbers in HMRC.

  19. kennethrmoore
    October 2, 2011

    A uk company currently market a ‘hydrogen generating device’ for reducing emissions and fuel consumption that cannot possibly work as described by the company. -I t is based on pseudo scientific nonsense as all such HHO devices have proven to be. But this is what Mr Cable had to say about it.

    In the Guardian he is quoted as saying the device is “an an excellent example of how highly innovative design can contribute to a more sustainable economy and environment. It proves how successful the UK can be through the union of cutting-edge research, business acumen, and sound environmental goals.”

    What an idiot. But typical of the lack of Scientific/Engineering knowledge of MP’s at the highest level of government.

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