I’ve got very mixed feelings about the news that many Northern Rock staff will wake up to a big fat bonus in their bank accounts tomorrow morning.
On the one hand, having been nationalised back in February 2008, Northern Rock is effectively owned by the tax payer, so it is our money that is going to pay for the 10% bonus they will be getting, amounting to nearly Â£9 million, at an average of Â£2,000 each.
And the reason given for the bonus is that the staff have worked extremely hard to pay back the money they owe to the Government quicker than expected – yet it’s far from a job done, as they still owe around Â£12 billion. It also probably comes as little comfort to those in other industries who are losing their jobs left right and center, without any hope of a Government bailout. Although jobs have been lost at Northern Rock, it wasn’t allowed to go under like other companies have.
However, no executives or senior management will be receiving the bonus (although with chief exec. Ron Sandler earning something in the region of Â£90,000 per month if I remember rightly, it’s hardly a selfless act). And the Â£9 million payout is nothing if it has worked as an incentive for the staff to work extremely hard and repay the Government billions of pounds off its debt.
So, I’m sat firmly on the fence, now it’s your turn – are you annoyed by this bonus payment or do you think it’s a fair use of tax-payers money? Let us know in the comments below.