Editors’ View: ‘Golden Goodbyes’ need to go

(01 April, 2021)

In what other job would someone be given a golden goodbye for jumping - or being pushed?

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Southwark Council’s new leader Kieron Williams has reiterated what ex-leader Peter John claimed about the so-called ‘golden goodbye’ payments in last week’s council assembly.

Without them, and the measure of financial security they bring in the event of stepping down from a role or losing it unexpectedly, the council would struggle to attract people from a wide variety of backgrounds into public office. This may be true – yet in what other job would someone be given a golden goodbye for jumping – or being pushed?

This means ex-housing cabinet member Leo Pollak could be taking home £5,000 – though the council has refused to discuss whether or not the monitoring officer’s investigation, currently ongoing, into his resignation could have any bearing on the payment.

Given the very real struggles of the thousands on the housing waiting list, workers in the gig economy, those with zero hours contracts and two weeks’ notice, and the huge number of people signing onto Universal Credit and dependent on food banks, it is doubtful many of our readers will continue to see golden goodbyes as anything other than a complete scandal.

READ MORE: Outrage as council leader refuses to rule out golden goodbye payment to ex-housing boss who resigned over ‘serious error of judgement’

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