Leading by example

Everyone is being affected by the current economic crisis. Well, almost everyone.

The administrators of Woolworths, a household name, have announced that all 800 of their shops will be closed by January 5th, the first 200 actually closing down on December 27th.

The closures will affect 22,000 permanent staff and 5,000 part-time employees.

Unemployment in the UK has hit one million for the first time in eight years and some are predicting that another million will lose their jobs during 2009.

The pound is plunging against the euro, heading ever closer to parity. Not good for the tourist industry and not good for ex pats living abroad who are dependent on a UK income or pension.

These people have seen the actual value of their income fall by around 25% in the past couple of years and is leading to a lot of belt-tightening. Sacrifices have to be made, and this has a knock-on effect on the economy of the area in which they live.

Meanwhile, the investment bank Goldman Sachs, which has around 5,400 employees in London, was forced to accept a £6.5 billion bail-out payment from the US government to protect investors. So what are their plans for austerity in these harsh economic times?

They are going to slash staff bonuses to a mere £142,000 EACH. That’s two-thirds of the bail-out money!

RBS accepted taxpayers’ money as a form of bail-out, and what did they do? Sent staff on a £30,000 weekend junket to Blenheim Palace! What was wrong with the staff canteen?

Similar stories with Lehman Brothers in America, demanding government billions with one hand and dishing it out in bonuses with the other.

There has to be something wrong here somewhere….