Peter Hoskin

Myners ducks and weaves - but to little effect

Myners ducks and weaves - but to little effect
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I didn't actually tune into Paul Myners' appearance before the Treasury Select Committee (did any CoffeeHousers?), but it sounds as though he took "It's not my fault, guv" to a whole new level.  Take Myners' explanation of why he didn't know that Fred the Shred's pension settlement was discretionary:

"Nothing was said that at [a] meeting by either [former RBS chairman] Sir Tom McKillop or [former head of RBS's remuneration committee] Mr Scott along the lines of 'Well actually Minister what we are minded to do is be rather generous to Fred because he's served us well and we would like to double the value of his pension as a result of which we're going to create an elaborate ruse under which it appears he's requested to retire and he has accepted that request.'

That was not explained to me." 

It's utterly astonishing that the Minister tasked with overseeing the effective nationalisation of RBS can blame others for failures of, well, oversight.  As Sky's Joey Jones pointed out a few weeks ago, the scale of Goodwin's pension pot was revealed in RBS's annual report for 2007.  The government should have been armed with that basic information, and have asked the obvious questions about it.