Monday 23 February 2004

Is this accurate reporting?

Fred Goodwin is one of Scotland's most successful businessmen and has recently enjoyed a huge pay rise.

But have a look at the headline in the news report:

Goodwin to take home £3.5m in pay and bonuses
The article goes on to say that:
ROYAL Bank of Scotland’s Fred Goodwin has been paid about £3.5 million in salary and bonuses for guiding the company to its record results last year - catapulting him ahead of the pack as the country’s best-paid chief executive.
Unless I am very much mistaken, our Fred has "taken home" more like £2.1 million after paying something in the order of £1.4 million in income tax. Now most of us could probably get by on £2.1 million without too much bother, but I do find it rather worrying when business reporters make mistakes like this. All too often journalists ignore the effects of tax and state benefits when comparing standards of living. Let's leave this kind of headline to the Scottish Socialists.