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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 October 2008

Mandelson - New minister for the rich

PETER MANDELSON, Baron of Foy and Hartlepool is now secretary of state for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and president of the Board of Trade. He obviously thinks he merits a salary as big and impressive-sounding as his new job and his new title.

On top of his 100,000-plus cabinet salary, he will get a 'parachute payment' of 6,500 each month for three years to compensate for his old job as EU commissioner in Brussels. He will also get a 31,000 a year pension from his 65th birthday, rising with inflation. To get that privately, Mandelson would need a pension fund of 750,000. All together his 'golden goodbye' adds up to 1 million.

This year, Mandelson was a summer holiday guest on multi-billionaire Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska's yacht. Purely coincidentally of course, Oleg got 50 million worth of EU trade concessions on aluminium import duties.

Clearly Mandelson will be every inch a minister for the rich, and he will be part of a government that is looking at job cuts, wage freezes and attacks on pension rights for the rest of us.

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