Redefining the meaning of greed

2004

Troubled car maker MG Rover made its third consecutive loss last year and this year is seeing its sales slump even further as buyers shun its dated product line-up.

Nevertheless, the company's five directors still saw fit to pay an additional £3.6m in their pension fund - a fund already worth more than £12 million.

The payment amounts to more than a third of the value of the £13.1 million in contributions made to the rest of the company's 6,500 employees.

Peter Beale, the company's deputy chairman, said: "I believe it is only right that a good pension is a fair reward."

Patience Wheatcroft, writing in the Times, takes a rather different view.

If the MG Rover directors are redefining risk, they are also redefining the meaning of greed. That may be for them and their consciences, but with sales tumbling alarmingly, the company can ill-afford the loss of goodwill among potential customers and employees they have surely contributed to.