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We can’t afford these payments to bankers

HEADLINES about the Croesus-like contractual payments now due to the senior bankers who failed to perform echoes all the hand-wringing hoo-hah over the double and triple pensions for retiring politicians last February.

The national financial position is unchanged – the till is empty. In all employment contracts with which I have been involved, payment has always been linked to a standard of performance.

That a major dereliction in governance, a neglect in oversight, occurred is plain. In those circumstances, the contracts of all those responsible are invalidated because a contract is a two-way street. Remuneration by one party is a consequence of contractual conformance by the other party.

Until the national coffers are once more replenished from within (ie by recovery of the national economy), severance, pensions and any other termination compensation, contractually due by the State to departing executives of banks bailed out by the taxpayer, need to be suspended. No cash, no choice.

Until then, all affected must make do with the standard state pension.