MPs demand an end to easy honours for business leaders

Tim Wallace
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BRITAIN’S business leaders should only receive honours if they have truly gone beyond the call of duty – not simply for being good at their jobs, for which they are already often handsomely rewarded, an influential committee of backbench MPs declared today.

The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) also hit out at the way in which former RBS boss Fred Goodwin was stripped of his knighthood, arguing the secret nature of proceedings essentially made it appear a “trial by media”.

The new report argues there too many awards are given out for “doing the day job”, and calls for reforms to the system to honour community achievements and service instead.

“It is distasteful and damaging for people who already command vast personal remuneration packages for doing their job, to also be honoured for simply being at the helm of large companies. This must stop,” said the report.

High-fliers in the public sector also took a beating in the report, which complained that civil servants often appear to benefit from a system of “automatic honours”.

It points to Lord Gus O’Donnell as a prime example, as he has been awarded four honours over the course of his career in the civil service.

The removal of honours was also scrutinised, following the stripping of Fred Goodwin who lost his knighthood in January.

Again, the committee called for reforms so that the criteria for removal are clear in future.