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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 February 2010

Fast News

Crozier exit

'GOOD RIDDANCE' are the printable words many a postal worker and Royal Mail customer said following the announcement of the departure of the company's boss, Adam Crozier.

When he departs later this year to head ITV, Crozier is expected to receive a 2 million golden handshake from Royal Mail as part of a three year bonus scheme based on 'efficiency targets'. This bonus comes on top of receiving 1 million in pay and bonuses for 2008/09, earning him the title of the 'second highest paid public sector boss'.

Not bad for someone who imposed a pay freeze on the mail service's 140,000-strong workforce and is responsible for the industry's worst ever industrial relations - managing to provoke two bitter national strikes in 2007 and 2009.

In fact, the shameless Mr Crozier has raked in 6 million in bonuses and pay since taking over as chief executive in 2003 - his reward for axing 60,000 jobs, closing thousands of post offices and ending second deliveries of mail.

Double standards

Staying with overpaid bureaucrats, it has been revealed that Sir Ian Kennedy, the man put in charge of monitoring MPs' expenses at the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, has himself made outrageous expenses claims.

During his tenure as a 170,000 a year chairman of the Healthcare Commission quango, Kennedy claimed expenses raging from 17 to 35 on each of the roughly 200 cab fares taking him from his home to work each year. A journey that usually would take only 40 minutes on the London underground at a cost of 2.30.

ILO warning

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) annual report on global employment trends predicts that the unemployment rate worldwide will continue to rise in 2010. The first year of the new decade is likely to witness an additional two million lost jobs in the developed and EU economies, it added.

Young people were the most vulnerable, accounting for one-third of the rise of 34 million unemployed over 2007, an increase of 13.4%, the highest rate for youth unemployment since 1991.

The number of workers and their family members living below the poverty line of $1.25 a day in 2009 was 215 million higher than the 2008 figure of 633 million people.

Not so friendly

The so-called 'friends of Haiti' group of countries which recently met in Montreal, Canada, failed to deliver policies to help rebuild Haiti following the devastating earthquake.

Foreign ministers and senior officials from 14 countries ruled out cancelling Haiti's $1 billion debts.

They also failed to tackle the issue of farm subsidies in rich countries on agricultural goods which have flooded Haitian markets, undercutting Haitian domestic prices and causing widespread rural unemployment.

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In The Socialist 3 February 2010:

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